LThe university does not have a seating chart, but most people have a tacit understanding that how they sit in the first class will be how they will sit in the next class. If someone takes the seat you are used to sitting on, you will feel unwilling. After stepping into the society, this mentality is still there. He sits in the same place every time he meets, chooses the same bike every time he goes to the gym, and even chooses the same side of the plane when flying. This “single-mindedness” of the seat was originally related to Environmental psychology (Environmental psychology).
Experts believe that people have to sit in the same position under free choice. This behavior expresses “territoriality”, that is, “territoriality”. Robert Gifford, a professor of psychology at the University of Victoria in Canada, explained: “Usually territoriality is seen as aggression or defense, such as fighting between countries or gangs, but it is more commonly used to maintain peace. Most of the time, most people claim to have a certain space, while Others will acquiesce.”
Taking the classroom as an example, students often choose the same seat, which enables them to effectively adjust and control their relationship with their classmates in the shared space, making them feel more at ease and less vulnerable. Marco Costa, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Bologna in Italy, conducted an experiment to record the sitting habits of 47 and 31 freshmen in two university lecture halls in the first 4 weeks of the semester in the form of low-key photos. He also deliberately used classrooms with overcrowded seats for testing, allowing students more freedom in choosing seats.
The results showed that most students sat in the same position repeatedly, reflecting the behavior of developing a small personal domain around their seats, which made them feel more at ease. Costa also found that even though students “can’t personalize the space and resist intrusion from other users when they leave,” they still sit where they are. Therefore, he concluded that choosing the same seat can help students control their environment and achieve academic and personal goals with minimal interference.
Another interesting point is that the gender of the students also affects their choice of seats. A study by educational psychologist Naz Kaya and Brigitte Burgess of the University of Southern Mississippi found that women also sat in the same seat more often than men, regardless of classroom interior design. The two scholars believe that it may be because women often carry handbags and add notes or textbooks, so they want a seat with more space, and they don’t want to change it after finding a suitable choice.
However, what impact can this seat selection habit have on learning? According to Ralph B. Taylor, professor at Temple University and author of Human Territorial Functioning, by establishing a personal territory, occupiers avoid the need to negotiate with the external environment on a daily basis. Because they don’t have to waste energy every day, making themselves comfortable in the new position makes it easier for them to achieve their goals, such as focusing on the lecture in front of them.
In other words, choosing the same seat for each class may provide you with a better learning environment. “Understanding how domainality affects social interactions and classroom behavior has the potential to create a more … conducive environment for learning,” Kaya noted.