Nova Scotia

Halifax's gratitude on display in Facebook video

A social experiment by a Halifax company found almost 100 per cent of people said thank you when the door was held for them.

Social experiment showed 99 of 100 people said thank you when door was held for them

Steve Foran holds the door for a woman at Mic Mac Mall. (Gratitude at work)

If you held the door open for 100 people in Halifax and Dartmouth, how many of them do you think would say thank you?

That's what Halifax-based company Gratitude at work wanted to find out. One day, a little more than a week ago, they recorded a video. Ninety-nine out of 100 people said thank you when someone held the door for them.

"I didn't think we were going to get 99. I don't know why, but I was pleasantly surprised ... it went beyond just thank you's. People got into conversations with us," said Steve Foran, CEO of Gratitude at work.

The video was posted to Facebook and YouTube.

Foran's company gets hired by other businesses and organizations to create better work environments through gratitude. The idea is appreciated employees are more productive. Foran wanted to take that idea to the streets.

"What we know from research is that from grateful people come good things," he said. "A simple way to induce gratitude in people is opening doors and so we went to six places and opened the doors for people."

1 day, 3 hours, 6 locations

For the experiment, Foran's team went to Halifax Shopping Centre, Mic Mac Mall, an office building on Barrington Street, an office building on Alderney Drive, the Two if By Sea coffee shop in Dartmouth and the Tim Hortons by the Halifax ferry terminal. The door was held for 15 to 20 people at a time at each location.

The video has been a huge success on Facebook. It was uploaded on Thursday and as of 3:10 p.m. Saturday, it had been shared 1,301 times and viewed more than 74,000 times.

"We did have one that didn't say thank you. We're not here to judge them because on any given day, that could be me [or] it could be you ... I suspect of the 100 people, there were probably a bunch of them having a bad day, but grateful people make people grateful," said Foran.

Foran said his team plans to release another video next month.


Anjuli Patil


Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.


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