Women Speak Calmer and Better Than Men

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An analysis of the words used by more than 60,000 Facebook users in some 10 million messages has shown something amazing. The findings from the analysis shows that women use language that is warmer and more agreeable than men, this language use was used to predict one's gender of Facebook 90 per cent of the time... 



The findings are published in PLOS ONE. In the paper, titled "Women are Warmer but No Less Assertive Than Men: Gender and Language on Facebook.

These language differences by gender on Facebook are being investigated by a team of researchers comprised of computer scientists and psychologists from the University of Pennsylvania, Stony Brook University and the University of Melbourne in Australia. 

Gender is a complex, multi-faceted and fluid concept. Their paper helps to illuminate some of that complexity through big data and computational analysis, and the findings suggest gender influences the way people express themselves on Facebook.


"Looking at language in social media offers a fresh perspective on understanding gender differences," said H. Andrew Schwartz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University and a co-author of the paper.



`The analysis automatically identified differences in the types of words used by women and men. Women mentioned friends, family and social life more often, whereas men swore more, used angrier and argumentative language, and discussed objects more than people. On average, women used language that was characteristic of compassion and politeness while men were more hostile and impersonal.



Some of the most commonly cited topics, or automatically derived clusters of related words, used by women included words such as wonderful, happy, birthday, daughter, baby, excited, and thankful. Some of the words most commonly cited by men included freedom, liberty, win, lose, battle and enemy.

In the analysis, the topics expressed via the Facebook language were rated for how affiliative (socially connected) and assertive they were. The authors built gender-linked language around an interpersonal circumplex. While most language appeared with both genders, other language use was clearly gender-linked.

"While some previous work suggests men are generally more assertive, the language in Facebook did not reflect this, showing woman use slightly more assertive language than men." said Andrew Schwartz.

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