February 13, 2015

Does Honesty Pay?

The latest wave of stories about cheating and lying and cutting corners - from the Patriots' deflated footballs to Brian Williams' inflated war story - led my teenage son - who is passionate about fair play - to wonder: Can you still play by the rules and win? I'm seeking answers from two guests who have an international reputation for their work on what makes some people do the right thing while others do the wrong thing. Joining me is one of the deans of social psychology, Stanford Professor Emeritus Philip Zimbardo, who designed the Stanford Prison Experiment of the 1970s and is now building up the Heroic Imagination Project to prime kids to step up when so much is on the line. Also, Duke University's Dan Ariely, whose revealing experiments tempting people to cheat provides a unique take on how people like Brian Williams can embellish a story that becomes a lie which gets cemented into one's life narrative. Despite what they've learned both explain why they are still optimists.

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