"Across four studies, people sat (or reported they would sit) closer to physically similar others," the researchers wrote in the paper’s abstract. "Study 1 revealed significant aggregation in seating patterns on two easily observed characteristics: glasses wearing and sex. Study 2 replicated this finding with a wider variety of physical traits: race, sex, glasses wearing, hair length and hair color.”
Overall, people had a tendency to sit next to others that were similar physically, even when factors for sex and race were controlled. This suggests that people are drawn to physicality than social categories.
Weird. Next time I decide to sit next to someone, I’ll have to think about this. (link from one of my industry-related magazines, but actually interesting).