A study into desktop psychology by Windows Vista reported today that people's personalities, habits and ambitions could be laid bare by analysing their computer screens.
Donna Dawson, a psychologist specialising in personality and behaviour, examined a selection of office workers' desktops and identified several clues which could indicate a person's personality.
She also said personalities could be divided into categories: Generic, Specific place; Goal-orientated; Trophy; Escapist; Artistic and Sociable.
She said: "Our desktops are our personal space and as such provide a fairly accurate personality description of an individual.
"My belief is that everything says something about what we're like. You may not consciously be aware of it but once you know, then your desktop can be used to give off a positive message about who you are."
For example, she said, having too many icons may suggest a person is disorganised and possibly insecure.
People with desktop pictures displaying their past successes, meanwhile, risk revealing their egocentric side to colleagues.
A list of desktop personality indicators from the report included:
:: Desktop with icons strewn across the screen - the owner is disorganised and tends to lose focus easily.
:: Even icons on each side - the owner values balance and proportion and tends to keep a cool head in tricky situations. Likely to be organised and dislike clutter.
:: Desktop with many rows of icons - reflects a person who needs everything to hand, likes to feel in control and on top of their life, while at the same time revealing a tendency to be slightly disorganised.
:: Personal photos as wallpaper - indicates the kind of person you are and what priorities you have. Often a parent will have a photograph of their child, or a keen traveller will have a photo of an exotic location. Photos of friends show popularity, which is useful in work environments where you need good people skills.
:: Plain blue wallpaper - suggests the kind of person who likes to keep their personal life private.
:: Trophy photos as wallpaper - can suggest a big ego and someone who revels in their past successes.