When we encounter new people in new environments, we tend to gravitate towards others we perceive to be ‘like us’ and we are more likely to interact with people with whom we assume we have common ground (Montoya, Horton & Kirchner, 2008). Without realising it, we can be limiting our interactions through the assumption: this person looks different to me, so we won’t have much in common. Moreover, our research has shown that small interactions (smiling and making an approach, striking up a conversation) make a big impact on people’s feelings of inclusion, or exclusion, especially those from minority cultures, so small actions and kindnesses matter.
InCommon playfully nudges people to examine their thoughts and beliefs about others and take the first step towards understanding more about people who, at first glance, seem different to them. Our approach is based around helping people find commonalities or shared interests with someone new, because doing so instantly changes our perception of others. It is said that when we discover a similarity, we become more open to believing other positive things about a person, as well (Bocian et al. 2018).
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