Psychologist explains what the seat you choose in a theater reveals about your personality

By Casey Baseel | Japan Today

There are a couple things that make going to the movies in Japan different from in the U.S. First and foremost there’s the price. General admission at just about every first-run theater in the country is a whopping 1,800 yen ($18.40).

Helping to take a little bit of the sting out of that, though, is the fact is that in some theaters, all seats are reserved. There are two advantages to this system. First, you never have to deal with the annoyance of one guy, sitting by himself, who’s saving the dozen prime seats next to himself for his friends, who will totally be here any minute.

Secondly, the seat a person uses can reveal things that give you a glimpse into their personality.

Recently, psychologist Hiromi Mizuki shared her theories regarding how the workings of a person’s heart and mind affect their choice of seat when going to the movies. Mizuki breaks the screening room down into the six sections shown at the end of the story. We’ve summarized her thoughts.

Section A: Center of the theatre, screen directly in front

Mizuki’s analysis: As the screen is easiest to see from this location, people who choose these seats are confident and decisive. Lending evidence to this theory is that since these seats are traditionally considered to be the best available, grabbing one means getting to the theater early or reserving your tickets online ahead of time, both of which show a certain amount of vision and planning skill. This kind of person goes after the things he wants in life directly, and likes to be directly involved with important situations.

Section B: Back of the theater, screen directly in front

Mizuki’s analysis: As these seats provide a wide view of the entire theater, people who find a sense of security in being well-informed tend to congregate here. Even if the people around them are getting caught up in the moment, people in Section B feel it’s important to remain calm and objective. However, they are also somewhat timid and afraid of being influenced by others, so they subconsciously remove themselves from the center of the action.


Section C: Front rows, screen directly in front

Mizuki’s analysis: Because these seats fill your whole field of vision with the screen, people who choose these seats have a desire to be constantly connected with others. They like lively events and take pleasure in being around other sociable people. If their friends ask them for help, they’ll do whatever they can. In general, they tend to be understanding and forgiving of others.


Section D: Middle rows, off-center

Mizuki’s analysis: People in these sections can maintain a moderate distance from the screen and are often near the empty space of the exit walkways, which gives them the buffer zone of personal space that they crave. When making friends, they gravitate toward people whom they can feel relaxed and comfortable around.


Section E: Back corners

Mizuki’s analysis: These are the seats where you’ll be least noticed by other people in the theater. Moviegoers drawn to these seats want to know everything that’s going on, but don’t have the self-confidence to take on the extra responsibilities that come with being directly involved.


Section F: Front corners

Mizuki’s analysis: These seats offer the worst view of the screen, even though they’re the same price as any others in the theatre. People who choose to sit in this section simply accept being inconvenienced, and the people they deal with in their daily lives may take advantage of their weakness.