Conversation's Gender Gap

New research reveals who really has the gift of gab.

By Brenda Poppy
Oct 2, 2014 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 4:29 AM
Ikon Images/Corbis


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Men and women often give each other a bad rap. Women talk too much, while men don’t talk enough. But new research published in Scientific Reports finds context is key.

Northeastern University political scientist David Lazer and colleagues used a smartphone-size device called a sociometer to eavesdrop on conversations among a total of 133 participants, separated into two group settings. They found that in a laid-back lunchtime atmosphere, men chatted just as much as women; in a cooperative, task-driven environment, women won out — but only in small groups. Men out-talked their female peers in groups of six or more in cooperative environments.

It seems chatty Charleys can keep up just fine with chatty Cathys.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.