Introverts Prefer Aisle Seats: Incidental Social Distancing
Personality remains one of the overlooked individual differences regarding COVID19 outcomes & behavioral adherence to safety policies
Introverted students indicated a strong preference for sitting in one of the two aisle seats in their pre-Pandemic classrooms, χ2 (1, N = 28) = 5.14, p = .023, consistent with Casey (2014).
Such a seating preference will facilitate ongoing Social Distancing recommendations during in-person instruction, & in other social spaces.
No seating preference was found for extroverts (n=10) or ambiverts (n=17).
Thus, introverts’ personality may incidentally keep them safe as we collectively return to a safety-augmented version of life.
Study Alone or Together
Introverted students indicated a strong preference for studying solo compared to in groups, χ2 (1, N = 34) = 4.24, p = .04. Such a studying preference is consistent with ongoing social distancing recommendations during in-person instruction. No significant preference was found for extroverts (n = 12) or ambiverts (n = 13).
This is conceptually related to research finding that, in social settings, introverts take more steps because they’re looking for solitary places (Salvit & Sklar, 2012), & they may be exposed to fewer aerosols while out walking because people walk more slowly when walking with others than alone (Knoblauch et al., 1996).
Women indicated a significant preference for sitting in the middle of the classroom over sitting in the back, χ2 (2, N = 31) = 7.23, p = .027 (based on a tripartite selection of front, middle, or back of the classroom).
There were no significant sex differences for aisle seat preferences.
Extroverts “have less tolerance for “intransitivity” — unbalanced triads in which Rich is friends with Scott, Scott is friends with Sonya, but Sonya is not friends with Rich (Hallinan & Kubitschek, 1998)” than introverts (Bayer, 2016; Staiano et al., 2012).
Extraverts experienced Quarantine Fatigue sometime around July/August & thus their adherence to social distancing gradually decreased. The result is that extraversion-introversion became a predictor over time
Also, the initial imposition of health measures in March-May could be considered a strong situation. Once things started reopening, it became a weaker situation, allowing for personality differences like introversion-extraversion to have a greater influence. This doesn’t suggest introverts were 100% safe just because they never travelled or went to a social gathering. The deaths following the wedding in Maine near the end of 2020 is a perfect example:
- The people who stayed at home ended up dying because the other people who lived with them went to the wedding & brought the infection back home. Thus, despite doing everything right, they became infected & perished due to the actions of the people who live with them. Thus, introverts with extraverted roommates are still at risk.
Thankfully research has indicated that ‘introverts exhibit higher natural killer cell cytotoxicity’ (Miller et al., 1999) and, like high conscientiousness, higher B-Cell activity (Vedhara et al., 2015).
Personality & Walking Speed
Preface: Speed adaptation model (Melnikov et al., 2017)
“Walking speed is affected by several factors of the environment, such as crowd density, surface slope, gender, age and even music playing in the person’s earphones [Franek et al., 2004]. According to an extensive study of walking speed factors [Finnis & Walton, 2007], an increase of speed was observed not only while people go down the slope but also up the slope, which brings us to conclusion that people speed up to pass the stressing/disrupting areas faster.
This conclusion is supported by a study performed in Canada [Gupta et al., 2008], where significantly higher walking speeds were observed at -15 ºC, compared to those observed at 15 ºC (1.43 m/s versus 1.23 m/s). For temperatures above 15 ºC, the speed slightly increased again, to 1.28 m/s at 25 ºC. People walk faster at temperatures outside their comfortable range, to escape the uncomfortable area as soon as possible.”
Introverts should walk faster than extraverts in social spaces as that could be construed as an uncomfortable area for introverts. As such, they would want to leave such an environment as soon as possible.
— “[Introverts] tend to walk faster than extroverts — in order to get out of congested spaces that much sooner — and we’re pretty much guaranteed to smack into somebody. Also, most entry-level work ironically relates to customer service, meaning we’re around our kryptonite all day.”