Study: ‘Mac People’ Are Hipper Than ‘PC People’

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Remember those annoying old “Mac vs. PC” ads, which used stodgy old John Hodgman and hip young Justin Long to reduce the respective computers (and by extension, their users) to cultural stereotypes?

Well, it turns out those stereotypes aren’t completely without merit.

Hunch, a website that makes a variety of personalized recommendations on everything from restaurants to books based on a user’s stated tastes and preferences, issued a report last week in which it assessed some of the traits of the Mac and PC users active on its site.

Many of its findings confirmed popular stereotypes: 58% of “Mac people” described themselves as liberal versus just 36% of “PC people,” and PC people were also more likely to live in suburbs or rural areas than Mac types, over half of whom live in cities. Mac people are also 80% more likely to be vegetarians, and 50% more likely to frequently throw parties, according to the report.

Thanks to the wide range of questions Hunch asks its users, there were also some oddly specific findings in the report. When it comes to sandwiches, cosmopolitan Mac users like hummus, shawarma and something called “banh mi” (it’s a Vietnamese sandwich) while PC users prefer more traditional fare like tuna and patty melts. And 69% of PC users would rather ride a Harley than a Vespa, while Mac users expressed a slight preference for the Vespa.

While the results were based on surveys of more than 700,000 users, we do see a couple of confounding factors here. First, we think it’s worth noting that users of Hunch, a new kind of social networking platform, are likely a fairly self-selecting group that tends to be younger and more tech-savvy, which means that the profiles of Mac and PC users alike are probably a bit biased toward the preferences shared by that demographic.

Second, there is the fact that respondents weren’t asked whether they used a Mac or a PC, but rather whether they identified as a “Mac Person” or a “PC Person.” About a quarter identified as “neither” or said they didn’t define themselves in that way.

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