Hey, Wimp, Go Big or Go Home

Hey, Wimp, Go Big or Go Home

  • Comments 5

 The word is out, Plugged In readers. You are what handheld device you use.

Seriously. There were some researchers at Harvard's Business School who recently started wondering whether or not the type of screened device people regularly utilized—you know, a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, etc.—might have some direct connection to that person's assertiveness. And guess what? There turns out to be a direct correlation.

How did they even dream up this idea, you ask? Well, it started with some of their previous research that indicated that people who adopted certain big, expansive physical stances—those lean-over-the-desk-while-talking-at-someone "power" postures—actually had their body chemistry impacted and their behavior changed. So, the next logical step was screen size. You know, if you're gonna stand around with a big aggressive stance, then you'll probably be wielding a big aggressive screen, I guess.

For the study "iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects Our Behavior," the researchers randomly assigned 75 people either an Apple iPod, iPad, laptop or desktop computer and asked them to fulfill an assigned task. Afterward they were instructed to wait 'til someone came back to pay them for participating in the "test."

The test, however, was just starting. The pay guy wouldn't come back with the cash for 10 minutes or so and the participants just had to cool their heels till then. Or did they? The researchers found that the participants who had used the larger devices were nearly twice as likely to get up and go looking for someone than the people who used something smaller. In fact, they got up and charged out, on average, at least two-and-a-half minutes earlier than those who used the smaller screens.

Bottom line: "There is a steady increase in the assertive behavior that correlates nicely with device size."

So I guess that means if you're a little worried about how assertive you are at work or home, you ought to be thinking big. Stand big. Scan the Internet big. Laugh big. Don't be carrying no stinking teeny smartphone, get yourself a big old "phablet" of a phone like one of those Galaxy Note big boys that take two hands to handle.

Me? I'm gonna up my assertiveness and carry a full blown iPad as my phone from now on. I've sewn extra large pockets on all my pants just to carry it around. It's a little hard to sit down now, but who needs to sit when you can stand large?

See my screen. Hear me roar.

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  • --I own an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac, so what does that mean for me? I'm kinda confused on the larger point of this study.

  • @syd

    --It means you should use the largest one possible whenever you feel the need to be assertive! XD

    Yeah, it doesn't really have a point....

  • --  Seems to me the study really just reveals that (some) people consider the ~purposes~ of the different-sized devices to be different. As in: small devices are appropriate for lesser tasks (for which it's not so important I should get paid); whereas larger devices are meant for more important tasks, for which I darn well better get paid. Maybe.

      I also think it's stupid of them to lump portable devices (iPod, iPad) in with non-portable devices (desktop computer). Obviously a desktop would be perceived as meant for more "important" work. Why did they select an iPod, but leave out an iPhone?

      Also, was the desktop computer a Windows/PC, or a Mac? This would be an important variable, as most people might consider a Windows/PC to most definitely be a work-for-payment machine, whereas a Mac ~could~ possibly be perceived to be lumped in with the iDevices. They needed to measure and control for the participants' ~perception~ of the various devices.

      All in all, a seriously flawed study.

      I appreciate your humor about it Bob!

  • --So if I don't have a tablet, smartphone, or iPod, what does that say about my assertiveness?

  • --@MikeTime

    A) You have tons!

    B) You have none....

    C) These people have no idea what they are talking about.