What Your Favorite Internet Browser Says About You, According To Science
Most people agree that the choices we make can reveal things about ourselves. But have you ever wondered what your choice of Internet browser says about you? To be honest, I'd never given it a lot of thought. Sure, in theory, I figured that a lot of my technology choices reveal things about my values and needs (I use a laptop instead of a desktop because I travel a lot when I work, for example), but I didn't really expect my browser choice to reflect a heck of a lot about my inner life. Apparently, however, even this lack of awareness on the subject reveals something about me. Who knew?
Adam Grant, professor and author, explores the way our choice of Internet browser may correlate with certain tropes and functions commonly found in the workplace. Grant's book on the subject, called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, is geared towards revealing the traits associated with free-thinkers who make big changes in the world. As The Independent's Indy100 blog notes, Grant initially tried to identify these tropes while attempting to look at commitment to workers' jobs and their job history.
In reality, however, Grant found that employees' job histories had minimal impact on their likelihood of switching to another job or role. One interesting correlation he did find, though? The type of browser users chose and their job performance.
Let's take a closer look:
Grant used data from research originally conducted by business analyst and statistician Michael Houseman. Houseman's research examined the behavior and Internet browser choice of 30,000 customer service agents.
Grant's analysis of Houseman's research revealed some fascinating stuff. Apparently, if you use Explorer or Safari, you are likely to show less commitment in the workplace than others. If you use Firefox or Google Chrome, however, you are likely to remain at your job 15 percent longer than Safari or Explorer users. You are also 19 percent less likely to miss work than Explorer or Safari users. For customer service agents specifically, Houseman also found that the employees who used Firefox or Google Chrome had higher sales, shorter call times, and higher customer satisfaction levels than their peers who used Explorer or Safari.
As Grant told Freakonomics Radio, "I think that the fact that you took the time to install Firefox on your computer shows us something about you. It shows that you’re someone who is an informed consumer," implying that people who put more effort into getting familiar and nuanced with technology may be more invested in their performance in the workplace in the long term. It's also worth pointing out that Google Chrome and Firefox, for example, are not the default browsers of a computer, so when employees use it, they're making an active and educated choice to do so based on their knowledge and experience with it. This extra effort, it appears, may bleed through to the rest of their work ethic.
So: What's your browser of choice?