A quick glance at your smartphone can reveal quite a bit about your personality. You’ve set a wallpaper that makes you happy, downloaded apps revealing what’s important to you, and picked which of those applications get prominent positions and notifications. Even scrolling through your playlists reveals secrets your favorite music says about you.
But before you got started personalizing your phone, you had to pick the device itself. And your phone choice itself could predict aspects of your personality, found a University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology and Lancaster University study.
“Smartphone choice is the most basic level of smartphone personalization, and even this can tell us a lot about the user,” said Heather Shaw, researcher of the doctoral study presented at the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section’s annual conference, in a press release.
The first part of the study looked into general perceptions of iPhone and Android users, and a second part examined if those stereotypes held up.
In the initial survey, 240 British participants ranked Android users as more open, agreeable, humble, and honest, while judging iPhone owners as more extroverted. (Read more about the hidden strengths of extroverts and hidden strengths of introverts.)
A follow-up personality test of 530 iPhone and Android users, though, found that most of those expectations didn’t reflect reality. More Android users were found to be honest and humble than iPhone users, as the volunteers had guessed, but the other assumptions weren’t accurate.
The researchers did, however, find other personality differences between Apple and Android. Those with iPhones rated owning a high-status phone as more important than Android users did. Plus, more Android users avoided similarity, suggesting they don’t want to have the same product as other people. Women were also twice as likely to have an iPhone over an Android in the study.
“It is becoming more and more apparent that smartphones are becoming a mini digital version of the user,” Shaw has said, “and many of us don’t like when other people use our phones because it can reveal so much about us.”