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(Photo: Keith Eidse and Jamie Hopkins )

(Photo: Keith Eidse)

With the start of every new calendar year comes a fleet of well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions — among them, losing weight, quitting smoking, getting more exercise.  Slaves to Habit is a new documentary that takes an in-depth look at bad habits, the behaviour that surrounds them, and the startling new science on the interaction between brain chemistry, habit and self-control.

Just about everything we need to know about resisting temptation can be found in ‘The Marshmallow Test’, a famous experiment conducted by Walter Mischel at Stanford University in the 1960s. In 'The Marshmallow Test', a researcher places a marshmallow in front of a pre-schooler and tells them that if they can wait about 15 minutes before eating it, they will get a second marshmallow.  Over the course of the 15 minutes, we watch each child desperately try to resist the impulse to eat the marshmallow. The hilarious and fascinating results demonstrate the power of habit and willpower — who has it and who doesn’t.

Need help meeting your goals? Find out where to get the best apps.

Slaves to Habit features some of the world’s foremost authorities on how our habits affect or control our lives, including Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit — Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Along the way we learn why some people struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. According to Duhigg, a habit consists of three parts: “There's a cue, which is like a trigger for an automatic behaviour to start, and then a routine which is the behaviour itself, and then finally a reward. Most people focus on the behaviour and the routine, but it's the cue and the reward that shapes how the habit functions.”

Slaves to Habit follows three individuals over a six-week period as they struggle to break their bad habits: smoking, overeating and compulsive shopping. In the end, we understand that habits aren’t destiny, and that by harnessing the new science on habit, we can transform our businesses, our communities and our lives.

Slaves to Habit is written, directed and produced by award-winning veteran filmmaker Andy Blicq (Faking the Grade, Conspiracy Rising, Are We Digital Dummies?, The Secret World of Shoplifting, The Truth About Liars).
 

Credits (Click to expand)

Written, Produced and Directed by

ANDREW BLICQ

Narrator
ANN-MARIE MacDONALD

Editor
GIL TETREAULT

Director of Photography/ Additional Directing
KEITH EIDSE

Executive Producer
MERIT JENSEN CARR

Original Music
SHAWN PIERCE

Sound
RUSS DYCK

Graphic Design
JAMIE HOPKINS

Additional Graphics
PETE SIEMENS

Camera Assistant/ Additional Photography
CALEY GIBSON

Camera Assistants
IAN BAWA
JAMES HIEBERT

Production Manager/ Line Producer
KERRI WOLOSZYN

Research
DAVID ROBERTS

Additional Research
LIZ ETHERINGTON

Online Editor/ Colourist
JACK LAUDER

Assistant Editor/ Online Prep Editor
DIEDRA RENEE BAYNE

Additional Assistant Editors
LIAM KARP
SEAN SIMES

Sound Editors
RUSS DYCK
JOHN SCHRITT

Mix Engineer
HOWARD RISSIN

Publicist
JENNIFER JENSEN-TRACY

Production Assistants
IAN BAWA
ORLANDO BRAUN
IAN MCCONACHIE
STEPHEN STUART
ALAN VASQUEZ


Archival Material

CNN
Corbis Motion
Getty Images Editorial Footage/ Getty Images
Hemera/ Thinkstock
iStock/ Thinkstock
RT Creative Group/Igniter Media

Unidentified persons appearing in the film are
part of filmed illustrations or are models
used for illustrative purposes only courtesy of:
© 2014 Corbis Motion
© 2014 Hemera/ Thinkstock
© 2014 iStock/ Thinkstock
© 2014 Merit Motion Pictures/ Habit Films Inc.


Special Thanks

Hallae Khosravi
Marc Magraken
Tom Rubin
Center for Compassion and
Altruism Research and Education
Kate Chesley
Christianne Cruz
Andrew Degryse
Clare Deutsch
M.A. Malone
Melanie Rubin
Karyn Troisi and Reflections Vintage & Antiques
Stan Zygmunt


Produced with the participation of the

 

The Government of Manitoba
Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit

Shot in part on location in the province of Manitoba, Canada

Produced by

In association with the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

©Habit Films Inc. 2014


For Doc Zone

Packaging Editor
MICHAEL READMAN

Associate Producer
GRIFFIN ONDAATJE

Unit Manager
SIBEL SAUNDERS

Associate Director
PETER LEE

Presentation Producer
DAVID GIDDENS

Production Manager
DAVID WILSON

Senior Manager
WILMA ALEXANDER

Senior Producer
LINDA LAUGHLIN

Executive Producer
Doc Zone
MICHAEL CLAYDON

Executive Director
Documentary Programming
MARK STAROWICZ

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