If you’re the kind of person who likes to pick the same seat on an airplane every single time, must reserve the same bike at spin class week after week, or even was the kid who always called “dibs” on the same bus seat for school, you should know, you’re not alone. In fact, we all want to call “same seats” because it’s apparently coded into human nature.
“Usually territoriality is thought of in terms of aggression and defense, such as when nations or gangs fight, but actually its most common purpose is to keep the peace,” University of Victoria psychology professor Robert Gifford, shared with Quartz. “Most of the time, most people claim a space and others tacitly agree to it.”
According to Quartz, this behavior all comes down to environmental psychology, which allows humans to feel like they have some semblance of control over their daily lives. As an example, Quartz explained that children often choose the same seats in a classroom to “control their relationships with their fellow students in a shared space, which makes them feel more comfortable and less vulnerable.”
WATCH: Here’s How Much You Really Need To Workout, According to Science
To further test this theory, Marco Costa, a psychologist at the University of Bologna, followed two university classrooms for four weeks, photographing the rooms each day to track where students sat.
The classrooms consisted of 47 and 31 freshman students respectively. He chose classrooms that had more seats than students and decided on freshman because it would minimize the impact of friends choosing to sit with friends. According to Quartz, Costa found that students chose the same seats over and over for the entire month, concluding that this act helped students take “control of their environment and achieve academic and personal goals with minimal interference.”
So really, always choosing the seat is a great way to help ensure your success in school, the office, your workout, or just in your daily routine. Now quick, go call shotgun before someone else takes it.