A recent Apple Computer ad campaign utilized two actors. One, a casually-dressed cool guy, represented the Mac. The other, a nerdy guy in a frumpy suit, represented the PC.

Not that far off, say researchers at Hunch, a research firm that measures consumer taste on the Internet.

When it asked consumers about which computer platform they used, it then correlated the data with responses to a whole series of other questions about values, tastes, and lifestyles.

Stereotypes confirmed

The results tend to confirm common stereotypes. About 52 percent of respondents said they used a PC, to only 23 percent who said they used a mac. Despite that disparity, Mac users are overwhelmingly younger. PC people are 22 percent more likely to be between the ages of 35 and 49 while Mac people are 22 percent more likely to be between 18 and 34.

Mac people are more urban. Fifty-two percent of Max people live in the city while PC people are 18 percent more likely to live in the suburbs. Twenty-one percent of PC people live in rural areas.

Politically, 58 percent of Mac people are liberal while 36 percent of PC people describe themselves that way.

Fifty-four percent of PC users have completed at least four years of college, compared to 67 percent of Mac users.

Personality differences

There are also obvious personality differences, according to the results. While 26 percent of PC people say they prefer to fit in with others, Mac people are 13 percent more likely than their PC counterparts to say they want to be perceived as unique and different.

PC people are 23 percent more likely to say they seldom throw parties, while Mac people are 50 percent more likely to say they frequently throw parties.

PC people are good at math. They are 38 percent more likely than Mac people to say that have an aptitude for mathematical concepts while Mac people are 12 percent more likely to say their verbal skills are stronger than math skills.

Casual vs. chic

PCs favor impressionist art while Macs like modern art. Seventy-one percent of PCs describe themselves as casual while 32 percent of Macs describe their style as either upscale, chic, designer, unique or retro.

Mac people are 80 percent more likely than PC people to be vegetarian.

Hunch said its findings are based on answers supplied by 388,315 users.