Xbox and PS2 at Heart of New Psychological Study

Dennis Faas's picture

Own an Xbox or a Playstation 2?

According to one research firm, your answer to that question could reveal a number of things about your personality, including gullibility, confidence, and distrust. It's a pretty remarkable study of the things we've ALL used at one time or another -- toys.

By combining radically new text mining software with the work of personality psychologists, research consultants Anderson Analytics believe they have found a legitimate way to interpret the subconscious thoughts of children (and in the case of many video game players like myself: immature young men).

As you might expect, the study exposes its subjects to a variety of pictures and images -- which it calls control stimulus -- and then asks those viewers to write a short story on the material they have just witnessed.

By examining the basic themes, words, and general content of those short works, researchers believe they can infer the personality traits of the study's subjects and draw on the impact each product has on those using them. (Source:

The final part of the study exposes the subjects to a brief advertisement. Another short story follows.

The results?

The study examined both girls and boys by comparing the female reaction to Barbie vs. Bratz and the male reaction to Xbox vs. Playstation. When it came to the young girls, subjects were generally more trusting of the Barbie name (perhaps as expected, since the brand has existed since Ruth Handler invented it in 1959). (Source:

As for the boys, there were some interesting differences between the Sony and Microsoft fans. In showing the boys images of both systems, those that saw the Xbox were higher on both "power motivation" and self-confidence (the difference not being provided). With that said, the final part of the study revealed that those boys viewing Xbox ads became distrustful of the brand, whereas those exposed to Sony pitches were less affected.

Need Microsoft change its advertising scheme for the Xbox 360? Should Sony license more masculine games? Whatever the case, this writer is sure that about 3.6 billion fanboys are currently making their suggestions on forums all over the web.

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