Which Stall Is Cleanest in a Public Bathroom?
You don't have to tell us twice.
Whether you've wondered about the dirtiest places on airplanes or the sneaky germ-spreading spots in airports, we've got you covered. But have you ever thought about germs lurking in public bathrooms — in airports, sure, but also, malls, offices, movie theaters, and virtually everywhere you go — and contemplated which stall is your cleanest bet?
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Well, here's a curveball: Science says you should avoid the middle stalls in public restrooms whenever possible. As Rafi Letzter explains on Business Insider, "A wealth of research shows that, given several equally good (or gross) options, people tend to choose the middle one. Psychologists call this 'centrality preference.' That means that most people who entered the bathroom before you probably went for the center stalls and avoided the sides. With any luck, that could leave the side stalls a bit less nasty." (Here's a 1995 study published in the journal Psychological Science that looks at beachgoers in a public restroom in California if you'd like to delve into the nitty gritty.)
Not that we're looking forward to testing this hypothesis or anything, but at least knowledge is power, y'all.