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Psychologists reveal what your plane seat choice really means

I prefer window seats for two reasons: you have something to lean on and you can look out the window. But I like to keep hydrated on my flights so pee a lot and when I’m travelling alone I don’t want to be that THAT person constantly asking to get up. Plus, I have really short legs and end up in people’s laps rather than gracefully sidling out of the row. So despite my preference for the window, I always end up choosing the aisle seat. 



According to psychologist and University of Washington professor Jonathan Bricker, who devoted his PhD thesis to the anxiety of air travel, that makes me an introvert. 


Someone who chooses an aisle seat would rather be inconvenienced than inconvenience anyone else, Bricker says. 


“You know you have the ability to get up and walk around without having to ask anyone or climb over your seat mate,” Professor Bricker says.


Those who choose the middle seat are the opposite. Normally extroverts will actively choose the middle seat (along with the poor sods who simply booked too late). 


“These are people who likely possess some humility and modesty, rather than a sense of control and self-importance” says Bricker. 


“They may be less concerned about catching COVID or other airborne illnesses. Philosophically, perhaps they recognise that we all share this universe and frankly are all sharing the same goal: to travel from Point A to Point B.”


As for those who choose the window, they are a little self-absorbed. 


“Passengers who favour the window seat like to be in control, tend to take an ‘every man for themselves’ attitude towards life, and are often more easily irritable,” Dr Becky Spelman, chief psychologist at Harley Street’s Private Therapy Clinic told The UK Telegraph.


“They also like to ‘nest’ and prefer to exist in their own bubble.”


So which are you and do you EVER choose the middle seat when travelling on your own?


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Published: 9 May 2022

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