Your PC desktop is your personality, sez psychologist

By andy

OK, so everything you do seems to get analysed these days – what TV programmes you watch, where you sit on the bus, whether you carry an axe around with you or not. “Geez, it’s not like I was gonna use it, officer.”

Still, for those of us who spend an unhealthy amount of time on a computer, there might be an ounce of truth in “desktop psychology”.

Psychologist Donna Dawson (who also helped the satellite broadcaster Sky try to convince us that watching high definition TV can make us happier) has suggested that the way our virtual desktop is laid out says a lot about our personality.

Before we get going, just let me say that this was sponsored by Microsoft and, specifically, Windows Vista. Make of that what you will.

Let’s see now:

  • People with icons all over the place are disorganised and lose focus easily (wow, really?)
  • People with even icons on each side value balance and proportion and can keep a cool head in tricky situations. (or, they just haven’t found the “organise by name” option)
  • Desktops with many rows of icons suggests a person who likes everything to hand and wants to feel in control of their life, though also a bit disorganised. (or, they’ve just downloaded far too much software/porn and not filed it)
  • People with a personal photo as their wallpaper indicates their priorities – parents have a picture of their child, travellers an exotic location shot. (so people use wallpaper they actually like. Go figure.)
  • Plain blue wallpaper is for people who want to keep their lives private (or who just don’t know how to set their own wallpaper picture).
  • A trophy photo as wallpaper suggests someone with a big ego. (Yeah, what of it?)

Suzanne Cook from Microsoft UK said, “We all love to personalise our desktops, but who would have thought that we could learn so much from the way our icons and images are arranged?”

You know, I was thinking just that.

Microsoft has given its top tips for arranging your desktop. So kind of them. Basically: personalise, de-clutter, organise.

Wow, I wish Microsoft had paid me to come up with this stuff. Amazing!

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