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That people sometimes do first, then afterward invent a rationalization for what they did, and then accept that as the reason they did it, cannot be easily debunked.

E.g. woman buys new shoes on pure impulse. At home she finds they go really well with a certain purple dress. Why that's precisely why she got them, of course. Eight months later, that's all she remembers: I had that dress in mind when I saw those shoes.

Our brains not only arbitrarily post-rationalises a bunch of stuff, but we often believe it to be the truth from the moment we think of it in many cases even when the rationalisation can't possibly be true.

(There's at least one study on people with severed brain stems that is fascinating in this respect, but I can't remember where I read about it, and don't have time to track it down)

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