What Your Smartphone Says About Your Personality
It’s usually pretty easy to spot an extroverted or introverted person.
Extroverts are outgoing, love being around people, and are energized in social situations. Introverts usually require time to themselves to recharge and are more energetic about ideas and thoughts.
A lot about a person’s personality can be determined by the types of behavior they exhibit. You can find clues to personality based on what a person says, the type of college major they pick, or even the type of music they listen to.
You might even be able to tell something about a person by the types of things they own. Even as something as simple as what type of smartphone they have.
Heather Shaw is a psychology researcher from the UK. Her and her team wanted to explore the idea if our mobile technology were related to any stereotypes or characteristics.
Here’s how she summed up the research:
“This study provides new insights into personality differences between different types of smartphone users.
Smartphone choice is the most basic level of smartphone personalization, and even this can tell us a lot about the user.”
They conducted 2 different experiments based around two of the biggest brands of smartphones, iPhone and Android.
The first experiment, using just a basic questionnaire, checked to see what perceptions persisted about the types of people who owned either phone.
People generally believed that Android owners were more honest, open, and kind than iPhone owners. Android owners were also perceived to have more humility and be less extroverted than their counterparts.
Perception vs. Personality
The real question, however, was if those perceptions measure up to reality. So they conducted a second study to test the stereotypes found from the first experiment.
They did so by giving personality tests to 530 different smartphone users. And they found that there were only two personality traits that held up to perceptions.
No differences were found between the two groups in extroversion, openness, or kindness. When it came to who was a bit more honest and humble, it was the Android owners who lived up to expectation.
These were the only interesting findings from Heather’s research, though.
Android users seemed to value non-conformity more than iPhone users. They rated higher on a trait called “avoidance of similarity”. Those who own Android phones may value being seen as different or more individualistic, as this is a preference to avoid owning similar products as other people.
The other personality characteristic noted in the research was the status seeking nature of the smartphone owner. People who had iPhones believed it was more important to have a high status phone than did Android users.
Lastly, the researchers noted a trend between genders. Women were twice as likely to own an iPhone than an Android phone.
Books and Their Covers
Heather’s work was presented at a conference to the British Psychological Society. She believes that her work could be taken one step further by analyzing personality and the kinds of apps that people use.
But keep in mind these results may also depend on some cultural context. Types of smartphones might be seen differently by people of other cultures or countries. For instance, Japan. And while phones might be seen as part of our identity, it’s always good to remember that human personalities are complex things.
It’s always wise to genuinely get to to know someone before making any snap decisions about who they are. In other words, try not to judge a book by the type of phone it carries.