Mac users are more likely to be young, tech-savvy urban-dwellers that enjoy throwing parties, whereas PC fans tend to skew older, are more conservative and say talking about computers is like "struggling with a foreign language," according to a new study.
A new study by Hunch.com -- a site that makes recommendations based on preferences, ranging from which car you should drive to which vacation or college choice is best for you -- suggests your computer choice can reveal a lot about your personality and personal preferences, from taste in movies and food to clothing styles.
Hunch used 75 million answers to questions that it asked its 700,000 members to predict particular demographics, personality and other characteristics based on their computer type.
The aggregated data revealed on Thursday (April 21) found that Mac users (typically ages 18 to 34) consider themselves more likely to be early tech adapters than PC fans, which is more likely to dominate the age 35 to 49 demographic. Mac people are also more likely to be vegetarians, enjoy indie movies, appreciate modern art and prefer designer, chic or retro clothing. PC people like Hollywood films, impressionist art and wearing jeans.
"We thought there might be some differences in how 'Mac people' vs 'PC people' value design since that's such a core component of Apple's product identity," Kelly Ford, Hunch's vice president of marketing, told TechNewsDaily. "And sure enough, that did play out with Mac people generally choosing more modern design options than PC people."
"However, what surprised us most is the extent to which there also seem to be deep personality traits that are distinct among the two groups."
PC people are more likely to be team players, better at math, introspective and conservative (in politics, art and food -- preferring white wine, strawberry daiquiris and sweet snacks over Mac fans' love for salty things, red wine and gimlet cocktails), according to the survey. Mac people also find it important to be considered unique, which may be the driving personality trait that informs many of their choices in art, food, and even media.
Hunch.com conducted a similar study about 18 months ago, and there was a remarkable consistency in the key areas of differentiation among self-described Mac and PC people when results are compared to the most recent study.
However, there were a few noticeable differences. The percent of self-described PC users rose from 48 percent to 52 percent, and self-described Mac people dropped from 31 percent to 25 percent. Those saying they don't define themselves by their computer choice also increased slightly, from 21 percent to 23 percent.
"As Macs and Apple products -- including the iPhone and iPad -- become more mainstream, they may lose some of their appeal among people who most value niche differentiation," Ford said. "In other words, for some people, there's only so far that 'what's different' can become popular before it's 'not different enough' anymore."
Ford also noted that Microsoft's advertising messaging over the last few years have been more focused on closing some of the perception gap between Macs and PCs.
"There's a good chance that the message has begun to sink in," Ford said. "In addition, many people use both Macs and PCs, either split between work/home or by some other category. So perhaps the differences between the two groups are beginning to blur based on multidevice use across many different occasions."
Although Mac and PC fans tend to have different preferences when it comes to most things -- including TV networks (PC fans tend to love the Syfy Channel, History Channel and USA; Mac users prefer Bravo, Showtime and HBO, the survey found) -- they do agree on which show they think is among the funniest: The Office.
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