What Does the Type of Computer You Use Actually Say About Your Personality? - Pacific Standard

What Does the Type of Computer You Use Actually Say About Your Personality?

Macs might be cool and exciting, but PC users just don't care.
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(Photo: Lee Morris/Shutterstock)

(Photo: Lee Morris/Shutterstock)

Those ubiquitous television ads, in which one actor embodied a Mac and another a PC, played off the widely held notion that the computer you use says a lot about your personality.

According to the stereotype, owners of Macs are cool and hip, while PC users are straitlaced and conventional.

PC users acknowledge that Macs are more stylish—but they don’t really care.

But according to Jeffrey Nevid and Amy Pastva of St. John’s University, that notion rates a “404 error.” They gave personality tests to 108 students who had purchased either a Mac or a Lenovo Thinkpad upon entering college. Writing in the journal Psychology of Marketing, they report finding no distinguishable differences in their subjects’ personality traits.

Overall, the students rated Macs as more “cool, youthful, and exciting,” but both groups gave their own choice higher marks for reliability and ease of use.

This suggests that the difference between the two groups may simply be one of priorities. PC users acknowledge that Macs are more stylish—but they don’t really care.

This post originally appeared in the May/June 2014 issue ofPacific Standardas “I'm a Mac, You're  PC—and Vice Versa.” For more, subscribe to our print magazine.

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