Order in Chaos

An observation made me wonder if freewill exists, why can it be so easily manipulated?

My MBA class has 66 students and in the regular classroom, everybody has a demarcated seat they are expected to occupy. Today due to fumigation, we had to move to a different classroom. Being a temporary arrangement, there was no fixed seating plan and since the arrangement (in no of rows and seats per row) was different, there was no peer pressure to stick to the original plan.
Yet I was surprised to observe that majority of the students, out of their freewill took seats that was very similar to the original plan.
i.e. students who were earlier assigned seats in the left/middle/right columns preferred those columns, also the row that they occupied and the neighbors they had were similar. Its important to note that even though your best friend in the class would probably not be the person you were forced to sit next to for the past 5 months, many students preferred their original neighbors to their pals.

Similarly a study at an US college (need to hunt for that report) had concluded that the pairing between the students of opposite sex was more correlated to the number of classes they attended together, the number of groups where they happened to land together than the compatibility/tastes/interests etc of the boy and girl.

2 replies on “Order in Chaos”

IIM Lucknow follows a case study based approach to MBA which is participative in nature. and hence it becomes even more important the students not only sit in their designated seats, but they also carry a name tag along with them.

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