When it comes to flying, there are two types of people in this world: those who prefer the aisle seat and those who prefer the window seat. It goes without saying that most people don’t want to be stuck in the middle – according to a Skyscanner poll, 0% of participants reported that they favored this seat – but it’s pretty much split down the middle in regards to the outer two.
Now, before we knew much about the subject, we just kind of assumed that, when given the choice, folks with teeny-tiny bladders opted for the aisles, while folks with optimal bladder control opted for the windows. Hey—it might not have been an iron-clad, scientific theory, but we didn’t think it was totally off-base…
Well, as it turns out, psychologists don’t necessarily agree with our little theory. According to them, the seat decision has more to do with what type of person you are, not your bathroom habits.
The great aisle and window divide
In an article published in the UK paper The Telegraph, two psychologists shared their thoughts on what airplane seat choices say about a person—and boy, their opinions sure are interesting!
Starting with the window seat, the most popular of the three options, Behavioral Psychologist Jo Hemmings declares that these folks are just a bunch of egocentric megalomaniacs! OK, she doesn’t exactly say THAT, but her thoughts on these people are a bit harsh.
“Champions of the window seat tend to be more selfish,” Hemmings states. “As well as less anxious, seasoned flyers who are more confident in disturbing others.”
Well, we guess her idea sort of makes sense. After all, it does take quite a bit of nerve to wake up two fellow snoozing passengers just so you can go to the bathroom or stretch your legs!
On the other side of the coin are the folks who prefer the aisle seat. Hemmings says that, generally, these passengers are a bit more social than their window-loving counterparts. They also tend to be the ones who have trouble sleeping or like to stretch their legs throughout the flight. Makes sense!
If you are one of the few who has no preference when it comes to sitting in either the aisle or the window, then maybe you should consider opting for the safest. That’s right—there really is a “safer” part of the plane for passengers.
TIME went through 35 years of crash data compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Accident Database, and they uncovered quite the interesting trend. Apparently, middle seats situated in the rear of the aircraft were the safest, while aisle seats in the middle third of the cabin had the highest fatality rates. We’ll definitely keep that in mind!
Who knew that airplane seat choices were so embedded in our own psyches—and that the wrong selections could even end up hurting us? For even more perspective on the matter, including further thoughts on aisle seat-lovers, be sure to watch the video below.
We can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this travel debate! Are you an aisle-dweller or a window-lover? Are you one of the few who actually prefers the middle seat? What’s your favorite part about flying?