Last week we sought to uncover the truth behind the stereotype: Are Prius owners really just like Mac owners? In a non-scientific fashion, we quizzed our readers about several of the most common stereotypes that seem to follow these two trendy groups: They’re arrogant, they think they’re better informed than the rest of us, not to mention smarter, more attractive, and more concerned about the environment. They’re Obama-supporting, latte-drinking, iPhone-toting snobs who always favor style over substance. Or are they?
Over 1,600 readers responded to our survey — the most responses to a Casual Friday ever. We asked readers what kind of cars they drive, what kind of computers they use, and then we asked them to rate their agreement (on a scale of 1 to 5) with a few statements that are typically applied to Mac/Prius owners. This graph gives a snapshot of some of the results:
Prius owners were significantly more likely to say their personal decisions have an impact on the world than non-owners. The same held true for Mac owners — and there’s no significant difference between results for Prius owners and Mac owners. This same relationship held in several other categories: Concern for the environment, support for Barack Obama, and belief that humans can stop global warming. But there were also some differences. Prius owners thought they were significantly less attractive than both non-Prius-owners and Mac owners. But Prius owners felt they were significantly more successful in life than both Mac owners and non-Prius owners. So are Prius owners just more successful, less attractive Mac owners? Not so fast.
If both Prius owners and Mac owners favor style over substance, you might expect both groups to spend more on their cars than average. But when we asked how much readers would spend on a new car, given a $30,000 budget, we found a different result:
Respondents were told they could pocket the change from their new car purchase. This graph shows how much, on average, they said they’d have left. As you can see, Prius owners said they’d significantly spend more than both Mac owners and the average of all respondents. Indeed, the results for Mac owners didn’t differ significantly from the average. However, Mac owners would spend a little more on a car than non-Mac owners ($7,388 remaining versus $8,433 remaining).
As you might expect, the reverse held for computer purchases, with Mac owners spending significantly more of their hypothetical $5,000 budget than non-Mac-owners. There was no significant difference between computer expenditures for Prius versus non-Prius owners.
But what about iPhones? Do Prius owners buy up iPhones as rapidly as Mac owners seem to? Here are those results:
Both Prius owners and Mac owners buy iPhones at elevated rates — they’re three times more likely to own an iPhone than non-Mac owners.
But the most-anticipated result in the survey has to be the question we tossed in at the last moment: We asked readers how much they spent on coffee each week. Are both Mac owners and Prius owners addicted to gourmet coffee? Apparently not:
Mac owners spend significantly more on coffee each week than Prius owners, and indeed spent significantly more than all other groups we tracked in this survey. The difference in coffee spending between Prius owners and others was not statistically significant.
So while there are some similarities between Mac owners and Prius owners, there are some key differences, too. That’s something to think about while you’re filling your gas tank and heading to the drive-through espresso place.