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Let’s imagine that you are at home and suddenly hear a knock on the door. You peek through your lace curtains and see a young man standing on your doorstep. He looks harmless enough and so you decide to answer the door. The man explains that he is a volunteer working for the Canadian Cancer Society and wonders whether you would like to make a donation. You think about it and then decide that it’s better to give than take, and so give a small amount of money to him. 


This may seem like an innocent encounter. In reality, you may have just taken part in a psychology experiment. This type of ‘would you mind contributing to charity’ study was first carried out by Patricia Pliner from the University of Toronto and demonstrated how the As If principle could be used to get people to spring into action.


(The As if principle states that if you act As If you are happy you will become happy or any other desired outcome)


Pliner’s results showed that 46 per cent of residents were prepared to put their hands into their pockets and money into the bucket. In the next stage of her experiment, the researchers had the volunteers approach a second set of houses and ask the residents to wear a lapel pin to help publicize their cause. The pin was small and almost all of the residents agreed. Two weeks later, the volunteers returned to these pin-wearing residents and asked for a financial donation. Amazingly, over 90 per cent of the residents agreed to give to the charity.

Known as the ‘foot-in-the-door’ technique, this approach works because the small initial request caused the residents to behave as if they were the type of people that give to charity. This encourages them to believe that they are altruistic individuals, and so motivates them to agree to the much larger request. Over forty years of research has shown that the technique works in many different situations.


Some of the most interesting and practical work has been conducted by French researcher Nicolas Guéguen. In one study, Guéguen travelled to Brittany and randomly split some of the residents into two groups. He then telephoned the residents in one of the groups, pretended that he was from a local energy firm, and asked them to take part in a short telephone survey about energy conservation. A few days later Guéguen sent out a letter to all of the residents in his experiment. The letter came from the mayor of the town and asked them to participate in an energy conservation scheme. More than 50 per cent of those who had been asked to take part in the telephone survey agreed to participate, compared with just 20 per cent of those who hadn’t been previously contacted.


In another study Guéguen emailed more than 1,000 people and asked them to visit a website that had been set up to support children who had been the victims of war. When half of the people visited the website they saw a message inviting them to click another link if they wanted to make a contribution to the charity.


In contrast, when the others came to the website they were asked to sign a petition against landmines, and then asked to click a link if they wished to make a financial contribution to the charity. Only 3 per cent of those who weren’t asked to sign the petition clicked the donation link versus nearly 14 per cent of those who had signed the petition.


Finally, Guéguen has also used this foot-in-the-door phenomenon to help Cupid find his target. Venturing out onto the streets, he arranged for experimenters to approach more than 300 young women and ask them out for a drink. Sometimes the experimenter asked for directions, or a light, before popping the question. Other times they took a more direct approach and asked the woman about the possibility of a drink straightaway. This small change made a big difference, with 60 per cent of those who had been asked directions saying yes to the drink, versus just 20 per cent of the women who had been asked directly.


In each instance people had seen themselves acting as if they were pro-energy conservation, anti-war or up for a drink, and so became motivated to act in a way that was consistent with their new-found identity.


This powerful principle can be employed to motivate our children to become more motivated learners. As we have seen previously in the experiment above that was conducted by giving lapel pins out to individuals for energy conservation. The results were impressive in how it influenced them to act accordingly. The same principle can be applied to our children if we present them with nice clothing that supports a positive message regarding education.


If you would like to see some of our messages that promote learning, feel free to click the link and view some of our beautiful T-shirts. Let’s try and motivate our kids to act as if they are motivated learners for this upcoming school year.


Check out our different T-shirts on offer in our catalog section. I'm sure you'll find a T-shirt to kickstart your childs hunger for reading and learning.

If you have any ideas or suggestions please let us know and we will get back to you ASAP.

Happy reading :)



Everyday in every way I am Healthy by Knowledge.

Other T-shirts are found in the Catalog

"A by-product of reading books"

"I think therefore I am"

"Reading is fun to mental"

"About that life"



I almost studied architecture at university!

I thought I wanted to become an architect but I wasn’t a fan of the necessary subjects at school. Mathematics, physics, art was the only one I enjoyed but I gave that up to do physics.

During my final two years in school I had philosophy and I hated it the first year. I had an arrogant teacher who only talked about how great he was and how he did loads of drugs with his fancy school boyfriends back in the day.

We hardly talked about philosophy or maybe I just missed what inheriting one million pounds and blowing it had to do with anything? 

That teacher got fired the following year and a new teacher called Mr. Pye showed up.

This guy was in his early thirties and was full of passion teaching amazing philosophy, covering philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Epicurus, Descartes, Locke and many more.

It was the messages and stories that were told by these philosophers that captured me. It all seemed so interesting. That was all thanks to Mr. Pye who was so passionate about his subject.

He also seemed like a mental guy because of the stories he would tell. Like driving to a car park when there’s no one around and blasting classical music while slightly reclined in his seat with his eyes shut so that he could feel the full impact of the piece😅

That kind of shit is hilarious and it taught me that it’s great to do your thing! Be different because that’s what’s up. Classical music is pretty great as well.

I always think back to this teacher because I’m happy I went on to study philosophy and learn the things that I’ve learnt over the years.  I'm grateful for the interests that I’ve developed and the perspective it has given me.

I hope everyone had a teacher that communicated in a way that sticks with them to this day.

Here at Healthy By Knowledge the focus is on sharing useful ideas that I've picked up over the years that have helped me out. Hopfully they can do the same for you. If it's weight loss that you're struggling with, how to cook simple food or if you're struggling with motivation and anxiety there will be something useful for you that can help you out.

If there's anything I can help you with please don't hesitate to ask. Just drop me a mail or DM me on any of the social-media platforms!


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