The psychology of self-persuasion with Elliot Aronson

WorkLife with Adam Grant

05-12-2023 • 45 mins

Elliot Aronson is one of the preeminent psychologists of the 20th century — his mentors were Abraham Maslow and Leon Festinger, and his award-winning psychology textbooks are seminal even for non-psychologists. Adam asks Elliot about his pioneering work on making mistakes and cognitive dissonance, or the discomfort we feel when we realize that our attitudes or actions contradict our values. Then, the two discuss the dangers (and upsides) of rationalizing our beliefs — and strategies for making better decisions while keeping an open mind. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at