2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
An international team of researchers examined the vocabulary used by men and women when communicating on social media and noticed that women tend to have a more polite and empathic communication style on the Internet, while men use more impersonal and sometimes rude language. The work of the authors is published in the journal PLoS One.
Psychologists conducted two studies in which they examined the most popular topics among women and men, as well as the nature of the language they use in communication. They analyzed about 10 million messages from almost 65 thousand Facebook users, as well as data from the MyPersonality application, where people undergo various psychological tests. Scientists looked at exactly what words and emoticons are used by men and women and analyzed the data obtained using a special algorithm.
The most popular topics among women were topics related to emotions (this included words such as "excited", "happy", "<3", "love") and social relations ("friends", "family"), as well as amplifying adverbs. ("Soooo," "soooo," "ridiculous"). For men, these were topics related to politics ("government", "taxes"), sports and competitions ("football", "season", "win"), as well as activities such as shooting a gun, playing musical instruments or video games.
Most popular topics among women
Most popular topics among men
In the second study, the researchers analyzed how the nature of the language used depends on the gender of the person. Scientists have determined how strongly words belong to two groups - affiliation (in psychology, this is the need to establish warm, friendly ties) and assertiveness (a communication style in which a person is confident in himself, can defend his own views and at the same time does not show aggression). For example, words like “wonderful”, “grateful”, “lucky” were aimed at getting closer to people, while the words “murder”, “selfish” had a negative indicator on the scale. Assertiveness was most expressed by such words as "bro", "absolutely", "I love it" and least of all "bible", "comedian", "message".
Table of belonging of words to the group "affiliation"
Table of belonging of words to the group "assertiveness"
Then the scientists studied the relationship of the frequency of using words from these categories with the gender of users and noticed that women use more affiliative words. At the same time, psychologists emphasize that their research, in contrast to previous works, showed that assertive words were actively used by both women and men. However, men used words that were colder (swearing, criticism, controversial topics), while women used words that expressed positive emotions and warmth towards each other.
The graph clearly shows the nature of the language used by men and women.
Thus, the study showed that the vocabulary of men and women is different even on the Internet. Women use softer, socially oriented language, while men, on the contrary, use less emotionally colored vocabulary, which can sometimes be rude. The researchers explained the equal use of assertive words by the fact that social networks can act as an "equalizer" - the social roles of women and men in the network are of lesser importance.