Kate chats with Gillian Sandstrom, a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology of Kindness at the University of Sussex and the Director of the Sussex Centre for Research on Kindness. Gillian’s work focuses on the benefits of minimal social interactions with “weak ties” and strangers, and the barriers that prevent people from connecting with others. In this episode, Gillian tells Kate about the misconceptions that prevent people from talking to strangers and the surprising benefits that can come from engaging in fleeting interactions with strangers, even if we will never see them again.
Check out Gillian’s paper, Why do people avoid talking to strangers? A mini meta-analysis of predicted fears and actual experiences talking to a stranger, which received an Honorable Mention in the Journal of Self and Identity’s 2021 Best Paper Award, here.
You can learn more about Gillian’s exciting research on her website: gilliansandstrom.com. You can also connect with her directly on Twitter @GillianSocial.
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