About this project
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All funds from this campaign will go towards completing the feature film and getting it out into the world when it's finished. Every contribution counts and please help us spread the word!
A well functioning society relies on mutual trust. When public trust begins to erode, the regular order can fall apart. This project hopes to encourage greater understanding for human flaws and suggest ways we can all improve our behavior to strengthen the society we live in.
Our film “(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies” examines the human tendency to be dishonest. From rampant plagiarism in our schools, to drug use in sports, to marital infidelity, to financial schemes destabilizing the global economy, dishonesty seems to be a regular part of the world we live in and the news we read. But the truth is that beneath the surface of the scandalous headlines, cheating is not just happening on a newsworthy scale, it’s happening in small ways everywhere.
When it comes to dishonesty, rational economic theory suggests that we consider the costs and benefits of our decision: i.e. what we can gain, the probability of getting caught, and the consequences we will face if caught. However, behavioral economics tells a different story and experiments show that cheating behavior falls within a grey zone where we can cheat and still feel good about ourselves — otherwise known as "the fudge factor." And while some influences can shrink the fudge factor to get us to behave more honestly, others expand the grey zone and help us rationalize dishonest behavior.
The film looks at dishonesty through multiple angles with personal tales of dishonesty ranging from the most trivial white lies to devastating lies that destroy lives. These stories are interwoven with insights from Dan Ariely based on years of behavioral research. The film will also include expert opinions by leaders in fields such as neuroscience, the arts and law, and archival footage that provides a deeper 360 cultural and historical context for dishonesty. The film presents the complicated ethical landscape we all navigate.
ABOUT Dan Ariely - Executive Producer. Dan is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University and is dedicated to exploring questions about human behavior in order to help people live more sensible — if not more rational — lives. Dan is a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.
ABOUT Yael Melamede - Director and Producer. Yael is a co-founder of SALTY Features - an independent production company based in NYC whose goal is to create media that is entertaining and enhances the world. Melamede’s producer credits include: Inocente, directed by Sean and Andrea Fine and winner of the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short; Desert Runners, directed by Jennifer Steinman; Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, written and directed by John Krasinski; The Inner Life of Martin Frost, written and directed by Paul Auster; and My Architect, directed by Nathaniel Kahn and nominated for an Academy Award in 2004. Melamede trained and worked as an architect before becoming a filmmaker.
CHECK OUT THE REWARDS:
Sneak peek - the galley cover of the special edition of Etgar Keret's short story "(Lie)Land":
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Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is to raise enough money for the film and get the word out in order to create a vibrant and engaged community around ethics — and that's a tall order.
One of the most encouraging of Dan's experiments shows that ethical reminders actually make people cheat less. Through this project, we hope to create a forum that acts as a reminder through the sharing of stories and lessons learned. So we begin here, with you. We hope that you will help us make this film a reality and help us build a community that cares about making our society a more compassionate and honest one.
We are grateful to be working with an amazing team on this project. Many thanks to our crew, partners, and the participants who have shared their stories with us.
We look forward to adding YOU to our list of supporters!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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