How stereotypical can we be? In a study of the different words used by various demographics of Facebook users in their status updates, women talked most about shopping and their hair, while men posted about sports, video games and war.
This is according to a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, who analyzed 700 million words, phrases and topics pulled from the Facebook status updates of 75,000 volunteers.
They were looking for the words or phrases that could best predict, for example, whether someone was male or female, which explains why many of the results are pretty stereotypical (i.e. shopping vs. Xbox). Still, why don’t more dudes talk about puppies? Some other insights they found:
- Women used more emotion words, like “excited,” and more of the first-person singular. They talked about love more often.
- Men used the possessive “my” when talking about their girlfriend or wife more often than women used the words “my” together with “boyfriend” or “husband.” Women tended to use words like “her” or “amazing” with mentions of significant others.
- Men used more swear words, and referenced more objects, like “Xbox.”
Excerpted from The Different Ways Men and Women Talk on Facebook by Shaunacy Ferro, Popular Science, October 1, 2013.