Debates over which is the better smartphone option can get quite heated – particularly among died-in-the-wool Apple and Samsung fans.
Some people are not too concerned and take a more pragmatic approach, simply selecting the device that is within their price range and seems best suited to their requirements.
However, an individual’s attitude to such matters could reveal something about their personality – even if it is not something they spend too much time thinking about.
According to the findings of a new doctoral study conducted by Heather Shaw from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, choice of smartphone can offer quite a lot of information about its owner.
Ms Shaw presented her work to the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section annual conference in Cardiff on September 1st.
Two studies of personality differences between iPhone and Android smartphone users were carried out for the research – and Lancaster University was also involved in the study.
Some 240 participants were quizzed for the first study – and they were all given a questionnaire about some of the personality traits they associate with other people who are users of each smartphone brand.
The second study tested the findings of these stereotypes against the actual personality traits of 530 people who owned either an Android device or an iPhone.
According to the findings of the first study, Android users are widely considered to be more honest people and demonstrate much greater levels of humility, agreeableness and openness compared to their counterparts who own Apple-branded devices. However, they were also seen as being much less extroverted.
Although the second study found that most of the personality stereotypes were not borne out in reality, Android users actually were found to demonstrate higher levels of honesty and humility.
Related findings indicated that women were twice as likely to own an iPhone than an Android.
One character trait tested by the study was the avoidance of similarity with other people, to establish whether or not people enjoy owning the same products as others.
Android users were more keen on avoiding similarity than iPhone owners – although the latter group considered possession of a high-status phone more important than Android owners.
This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the iPhone is one particular range of products, whereas Android is a mobile operating system that is used by a wide variety of smartphone manufacturers.
“This study provides new insights into personality differences between different types of smartphone users. Smartphone choice is the most basic level of smartphone personalisation, and even this can tell us a lot about the user,” Ms Shaw commented.
“Imagine if we further researched how personality traits relate to the applications people download. It is becoming more and more apparent that smartphones are becoming a mini digital version of the user, and many of us don’t like it when other people use our phones because it can reveal so much about us.”