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The Science of Inclusion

Quinetta Roberson | 10:13


Has anyone ever given you the cold shoulder? Have you ever had the experience of being ignored or excluded? I know I have. Last year I worked at the National Science Foundation, which is a government agency that promotes science and engineering through research and education. One aspect of the job that I particularly enjoyed was working on programs that required scientists from different disciplines to collaborate.

There was one meeting I had to attend, and when I got there, there were already a number of people in the conference room. Most people were involved in conversation, but when I walked in, it was like the music stopped. I mean silence. And I thought, here we go with that. You look like Michelle Obama thing again,

But one very inquisitive soul broke the silence and asked, what's your area? I said that I was director of the Science of Organizations program. And the person responded, very dismissively, I might add, oh, you're a social scientist, and everybody went back to their conversation. It was at that moment that I realized I was being excluded for being a social scientist.

Research shows that when it comes to exclusion, there is actually a thing called the cold shoulder. As people who are alienated experience lower body temperatures. Researchers at the University of Toronto conducted an experiment where they asked people to recall a time when they were either socially included or socially excluded.

Interestingly, those who were called the time when they were excluded, perceived the temperature of the room to be lower than it actually was. The other thing that was really interesting is that those people who who were excluded had a greater desire for warm food and beverages like hot soup and hot coffee.

Maybe this explains the secret to Starbucks success. , right? The company does say, our work is more than the perfectly crafted beverage. It's about human connection. I guess they found a way to capitalize on all of those cold shoulders in the world. The word exclusion derives from the Latin Root X, which means out of and cloud though, which means to shut or to close off.

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