Thursday, August 25, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Who do you choose to network with and how do you choose them? The answer might surprise you. Studies show some interesting answers to the question, “who do you choose to sit next to?”

A recent article analyzes the results of four studies on how we choose our seating partners. The studies looked at various physical traits and their impact on our seating choices. The first study easily showed a pattern between glasses wearing and gender and seat choice. Study two replicated this finding with the wider variety of physical traits: race, gender, glasses wearing, hair length, and hair color. Study three and four further reinforced the results in the lab.

The results of the studies are pretty clear--we sit next to others that physically resemble ourselves and not broad social categories.

So the big question—why? The article suggests that we choose subconsciously to sit next to people of a similar physicality to us because we are more likely to be accepted socially by them.

Remember this next time you attend an event with open seating.

You can see the article here or a One+ magazine blog here.

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