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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Living Doll II: The Rise of Talkie Telly

by Jen (writer), San Fernando Valley, July 21, 2007

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This just in! Men talk just as much as women! That’s right; thanks to researchers from the University of Arizona, and a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, we can safely put to rest the notion that “women just don’t know when to shut up”.

Apparently, men are just as verbose as the “fairer sex”.

The idea that women talk more than men is the subject of much western folklore, and has long been considered scientific fact. This idea being so engrained in society that when respected neuropsychiatrist, Louann Brizendine first asserted that women use 20,000 words per day compared to the 7,000 or so used by men in her book, “The Female Brain”, no one questioned it. In fact, this erroneous statistic circulated through the media like wild-fire, showing up in such media outlets as CNN, Newsweek, and the Washington Post.

However, you won’t find this information in later editions, as it was removed due to lack of scientific support. How’s that for responsible journalism?

In fact, until now, no study has reliably addressed the question of which sex uses more words. A previous attempt to put some kind of quantification to this age old myth revealed that women talk only slightly more than men. Estimates of the number of words spoken by men and women of the British National Corpus were taken from analysis of manual tape recordings. Unfortunately, there was no way to determine when study participants actually turned their tape recorders on and off, so no real information was gained.

But, thanks to a new device developed by Dr. Matthias Mehl and colleagues, subject bias has been largely eliminated. The device, called the electronically activated recorder, or EAR (I have no doubt this clever little acronym is intentional) records ambient noise in 30 second intervals every 12.5 minutes. Wearers of the EAR are unaware of precisely when the EAR is listening, and they are unable to invoke electronic deafness.

I’ll spare all of you casual readers out there the dry experimental details and statistical analysis. You can read them for yourself here , but it appears that both men and women speak, on average, about 16,000 words per day. Lead author on the study, Dr. Matthias Mehl, concludes by saying, “…that the widespread and highly publicized stereotype about female talkativeness is unfounded.”

No word on what they plan to do with the EAR next…

And, in the spirit of taciturn females everywhere, I will conclude by simply saying that I sure am glad taxpayer money is being so well spent.


About the Writer

Jen is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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10 comments on Living Doll II: The Rise of Talkie Telly

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By Steven Blake on July 21, 2007 at 03:00 pm
Jen Jen Jen. It was done off another experiment that recorded voice records and it was a total of 400 people. But that is not what thr original experiment was about was it?
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By Jen on July 21, 2007 at 03:37 pm
Steven- Good question. Do you know Matthias? Got some insider information not available on the net? Care to share?
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By Steven Blake on July 21, 2007 at 03:45 pm
Yes I do! It was "part" of a larger project to understand how people are affected when they talk about emotional experiences. And since they felt they had the data they decided to count their words also. http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=220&sid=1181991
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By Jen on July 21, 2007 at 04:07 pm
Thanks Steve-o! From your link: "Co-author James W. Pennebaker, chairman of the psychology department at the University of Texas, said the researchers collected the recordings as part of a larger project to understand how people are affected when they talk about emotional experiences." That sounds like a far more interesting study, though I'm not sure how this being part of a larger project negates the findings. This kind of thing is very common in the scientific community. Why keep quiet about a finding just because it isn’t what you intended to look for. Now, if you want to talk about small sample size and homogeneity among the participants...that might just be the zinger you’re looking for…
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By Steven Blake on July 21, 2007 at 04:41 pm
Hey I am there for ya!!! I just want to make sure we have all our facts and then we can all draw our own thoughts on the subject as you said at the end of your last comment. Do I think women talk more than men? Absolutely! Do I have the proof to back this up? Only the asprin bottles left over from listening to women at the bar. HEHE! But I am glad you wrote this otherwise I would have!
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By Steven Lane on July 21, 2007 at 10:35 pm
If you get to my age, you inherently know when to shut up.
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By Jen on July 22, 2007 at 11:41 am
El- Can't help you on cocaine and foghat. Although, people tend to talk more when snorting lines. Perhaps then they also listen to more foghat? As to the other- Makes sense in a housewife/breadwinner scenario, but with both men and women working outside the home it doesn't really hold water. And...I have a hard time trusting anyone still sporting hair wings. Lets face it. People, in general, and especially the broo crew are all a bunch of gas bags, male and female alike. People will think you talk too much if what you are talking about doesn't interest them. I fart in their general direction :)
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By Steven Blake on July 25, 2007 at 02:15 pm
actually they did count all of moans and groans!! Thats why it was close
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By Geddy on August 11, 2007 at 08:51 am
I remember the day my daughter was born; I couldn't wait for her to start talking so I could find out what she is like. By the time she was five, I couldn't get her to shut up. Speaking of Foghat...anybody remember "Boogie Motel"?..maybe it's sleazy but it's cheap and it's easy...My favorite song of theirs...saw 'em 5 times in concert and they NEVER played it :(
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By Oriana88 on June 11, 2014 at 04:47 am

Taht was quite weird sukienka na lato

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