Why We Make Mistakes Book Cover

Why We Make Mistakes

How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average
Publishing Year: 2012
Reading time: Key takeways: Quotes:

What’s inside

In order to understand the reason why mistakes are committed, Joseph Hallinan ventures into concepts of psychology and human behaviour. He talks about human errors, biases and prejudices, which makes mistakes an inevitable part of our lives. This book helps us to understand the underlying reasons behind mistakes and acts as a guide which inspires us to do better the next time.

Show More
book summary app

Download app now

Lesson 1. The philosophy behind mistakes.

Whenever errors are committed and humans are convicted, the investigation is ceased. But if we want to eradicate the mistake, it is ideal to not stop the inspection. Most of the mistakes committed by us are a result of our fault. However, there are certain mistakes that have little to do with our behaviour. They are a result of systemic biases which prevail in our society. Most of us are unaware of the prejudices we hold. And in cases where we acknowledge the existence of such prejudice, which might not be correct, we find it difficult to rectify them. The reason behind such a rigid thought process is that most of these biases are rooted deep within us.

As humans, we assume that we possess superior memorizing capabilities. Many studies have contradicted this belief. According to these researches, most of us end up forgetting our password after a few months. When we commit a mistake, we try to blame it on something else in a way that it doesn’t look like our fault. Thus, the notion that we learn from our mistakes and experiences, might not be true. 

Some of the most common mistakes which we commit on a regular basis include, misunderstanding the implication of something and undertaking a wrong action due to wrong judgements. Our memory is structured in a way that it restructures rather than replicate. The goal is to understand the difference between things we do well and things we do below par. This bifurcation will help us to do more of the former and to avoid the latter.

We look, but we fail to observe and understand. Although we might be looking at a particular thing or situation, our mind registers only a fraction of what we might stare at. Thus, different people tend to view the same scenario from different angles. We notice things that might seem important to us as individuals. Most of us would not agree with this thought. We might put forth the argument that we have a better vision, and that we notice multiple things easily. But studies reveal that we humans see what we expect to see. We fail to accept the truth because our brains are wired to think in a particular direction. 


Lesson 2. Importance of correlation.

Humans have very limited long-term memory. We tend to remember the meaning of instances and end up forgetting the superficial details. This is because meanings help us to form associations and link two things. Research conducted in

Unlock Knowledge with Wizdom App

Explore a world of insights and wisdom at your fingertips with the Wizdom app.

  • 1 Million+ App Download
  • 4.9App Store Rating
  • 5000+Summaries & Podcasts

Reviews for Summary of Why We Make Mistakes

Vote: 0

About the author

Joseph T. Hallinan Image

Joseph T. Hallinan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, authored “Why We Make Mistakes,” delving into human errors and decision-making. With captivating storytelling, he explores psychology and behavioral science, unraveling the intricacies behin...

Unlock Why We Make Mistakes Lessons!

Download our app for instant access to the summarized version and Audiobook of 'Why We Make Mistakes'
Why We Make Mistakes Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. The philosophy behind mistakes.
  • Lesson 2. Importance of correlation.
  • Lesson 3. Undetected Mistakes.
  • Lesson 4. Framing and Skimming.
  • Lesson 5. Over-simplification and Overconfidence.
  • Lesson 6. Need for Change.
  • Lesson 7. Avoiding Mistakes.
book summary app

Download app now

You May Also Like:


In the summary of Why We Make Mistakes book, there are 7 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. The philosophy behind mistakes.
  2. Lesson 2. Importance of correlation.
  3. Lesson 3. Undetected Mistakes.
  4. Lesson 4. Framing and Skimming.
  5. Lesson 5. Over-simplification and Overconfidence.
  6. Lesson 6. Need for Change.
  7. Lesson 7. Avoiding Mistakes.

Why We Make Mistakes by Joseph T. Hallinan was published in 2012.

Once you've completed Why We Make Mistakes book, We suggest reading out Didn’t See That Coming as a great follow-up read.

Yes, the book Why We Make Mistakes is really good to read. 50 people have searched for the book summary on the Wizdom platform. The book summary has a rating of 0.0, 0 on our platform.

In the printed version of Why We Make Mistakes book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

Write a Review