Thursday, July 05, 2007

Do Women Talk More Than Men?

If you believe urban legend and cultural stereotypes, women use an average of 20,000 words a day. Men? 7,000.

Newest data, recently published in Science, would suggest that men don't necessarily talk less than women.

Mehl and Pennebaker et al looked at 396 college students and measured the number of words they used in a day.

Women, 16,215. Men, 15,669.

Men on average spoke 546 words less, which was not statistically different.

But there was a 45,000 word difference between the most and the least talkative persons. So it's not a matter of women talking more than men. Talkative people just talk more than non-talkative people. Maybe we're just programmed to think that women talk more so we notice a chatty woman more than we notice a chatty man...

Or maybe there are changes as people age. There certainly are couples where one person is the talker and the other is the listener - but are more of the talkers women?

Just think, if you study that, you TOO can be published in Science.

photo credit


Anonymous moof said...

WV, I have two men at home now (an old one, and a 20-something), with occasional visits from my other two young men.

None of "my men" are really chatty, but when one of them does get going, you may eventually have to find a place to take cover ... because you will be the recipient of a veritable unending stream of logorrhea!

I think that even those who are not "naturally chatty" have their moments ... and those moments can easily make up for the quiet interims.

Chattiness needs to be measured over an extended period of time ...

I believe that men just follow a different frequency pattern! ;o)

6:06 AM  
Blogger wandering visitor said...

Hi Moofie!

Agree about the different frequency pattern. But it's fascinating that there is this cultural stereotype of women as the verbose ones.

If you google "chatty" and pull up images, it's mostly female caricatures talking nonstop.

Very interesting...

9:02 PM  

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