Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chapter 11: Denial and Acceptance

Haley Scholars Fall 2013 Reading Groups

Chapter 11 on denial and acceptance in Kathryn Schulz's book Being Wrong is one of the most gripping that we've read so far. She shares a story about a woman who falsely identified her attacker only to learn many years later that she was responsible for sending the wrong man to jail.

What aspects of the story, and more specifically, what aspect concerning the processes of denial or acceptance of error was most compelling or notable to you? Why or how so?

14 comments:

Kayleigh E. said...

The quote "Denial is not, after all, a response to the facts. It is a response to the feelings those facts evoke- and sometimes, those feelings are simply too much to bear." really stuck with me while reading this chapter.I never thought of it that way before.
When someone is in denial or is denying something it really is about their feelings. They feel betrayed, shocked, or many other feelings. Denial is coping with the feelings.

Jacqueline C. said...

The aspect that was compelling to me was when it said that "denial is a defense mechanism." I do believe this because people may use it to avoid embarrassment or humiliation. They fear being wrong and don't want others to know that they weren't right.We have to learn to live with truth and without it, as mentioned on the text.

Trinity Foree said...

The most compelling argument in this chapter is the one that addresses how the "first person" account affects our willingness to accept statements as factual. Even though we regard the "first person" witness as reliable, this doesn't necessarily speak to it's actual verity.In some ways it even alludes to the exact opposite, which is subjectivity.

Trinity Foree said...

By far, the most compelling argument is the one that surrounds the "first person" witness. Generally, the account "first person" witness is regarded as infallible. However, this text suggest that it should be regarded more so as subjective and unreliable

Maame A said...

This story was very interesting to me along with being pretty emotional. What stuck out to me the most was the discussion of the word witness and how that is the most upholding evidence in court, especially before DNA testing was around. I believe this should not be the most upholding and in fact should just be apart of the story because in court someone is going to lie and someone is going to be telling the truth, and just because they are the a first eye witness doesn't mean they are the ones telling the truth as seen in the case with Penny and Steven Avery. I also like how this chapter talked about how Penny had not accepted what happened to her and started lashing out at her family and friends until she went to the restorative justice talk and went back to the beach spot where it happened. I believe more should be done with victims such as Penny with denial of such acts happening and accepting the error that happened in their life.

Ashya Ford said...

This was a very interesting story to me and it got me thinking a lot about the how we perceive things and what we accept as correct or incorrect. I also thought it was interesting when Schulz said Penny heard all of the facts and she was "interpreting the evidence against [her] theory as evidence for [her] theory." I think this statement was so profound because it reiterates the fact that everyone can take in and/or observe the same scenario, yet only be able to tell the story how they saw it (even if that's not entirely how it was); and they are not changing what happened, they just remember the events that best explain what they think of an encounter.

Maya Estell said...

This story really resonated with me, because I have always had thoughts on whether not people could be completely sure that the person was guilty and whether or not that would be a guilt that they carried along with them through out their lives. The process of denial and acceptance of an error is compelling to me because it has a lot to do with the brain and your actual thought process and whether or not something you did was right or wrong. Many can convince themselves of something because they are in denial and this is a process on the road to acceptance. You have first acknowledge that you were in denial to accept that you were wrong.

Jenee' B. said...

0The most compelling part was when the author discussed the accuracy of eyewitnesses. The fact that even the best get more than 25% of the facts wrong, and that the courts rely so heavily on their testimony is very frightening. Also, this actually reminded me of when we discussed false memories and the effect of weapon focus in my psychology class.

Ashley bass said...

The most notable aspect of the story to me was how Penny accepted that she was wrong . She wasn't in denial. She didn't pretend that she still thought Steven was the one who raped her. She manned up and accepted that she was wrong. Another compelling part of the story was how Steven forgave Penny for having him locked up for 18 years and they hugged each other.

Najah Hopkins said...

The most compelling aspect of chapter 11 was how emotional trauma could distort memory. Memory distortion may have been caused by the nature of the crime and the age of the victim. In the jimmy Ray Bromgard case the attorney general and police officer created emotional bias based on the negative event. Chapter 11highlights ego error, which is humam error based solely on emotiomal judgments and disregards evidence based on facts . The book does a great job of showcasing, denial and error basef on human emotions.

Hilary Conrad said...

I found it interesting that the chapter suggested that there is a healthy form of denial. The author gave the exmple of those who are sick and dying and completely forget the news told to them. It was interesting to me because it left me wondering if the patients were so positive that they would survive, or if their brains simply shut down the idea that they were sick as a defense mechanism.

Kiara Gay said...

the aspect of the story that was so compelling to me was the fact that she never thought for once, even when the man tried so hard to prove that he was innocent, that she may have accused the wrong person of the crime. The aspect of denial that relates to the women not thinking about the fact that he may be guilty is when the author states "denial is not, after all, a response to the facts. It is a response to the feelings those facts evoke." She may have realized all along that she may have convicted the wrong man, but did not want to face that fact because she did not want to face the feelings that come with being wrong.

Sandra Nnoung said...

The part of the story that resonated with me was "a witness, then, is one who knows". I found that to be am accurate statement. That, however, does not mean that a witness is always right or truthful. Although in the past that may have been the main form of evidence, that cannot be the only thing prosecutors look at during any investigation. Witness have been know to lie even on the stand of it meant protecting someone. Not everyone can be takem at their word. Sometimes people do not intentionally alter their memories but they may remember someone committing that was nowhere near the scene simply because they are in denial of who actually did.

Jasmine said...

The most compelling part to me was how it was highlighted that denial can be used as a defense mechanism. This is so true. Whenever we don't want to accept something we convince ourselves that a lie is true but at the same time in this story once she knew she was wrong she corrected it. She didn't try to convince herself that she wasn't wrong just to validate the mistake she made.