updated 19 Jul 2013, 03:38
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Mon, Feb 21, 2011
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Women have gift of the gab over chatterbox men
by Madeleine Cowley

Women communicate better than men and actually talk less, researchers said Friday.

Men speak more words than women in a day, but have a weaker command of language in social situations, use the same words repeatedly and pay unconvincing compliments, British researchers said after studying how men and women communicate.

Manchester University researchers found that when conversation centered on serious issues such as current affairs men and women used similar language, but they differed widely when it came to chit-chat in social situations.

The women in the research commissioned by British female-friendly insurance firm Sheilas' Wheels had superior communication skills and used a wider variety of words in social situations, while men struggled with their command of language.

"It is men who are more likely to talk for the sake of talking when engaged in social chit-chat by recycling their words with ritualistic and redundant language that doesn't contain new information," Manchester University researcher Geoffrey Beattie said.

The team of researchers carried recording devices over a one week period in order to transcribe 50 conversations, which were split between men and women in serious and social conversations.

Each conversation was given to five volunteers who read five different versions with every fifth word removed and were asked to guess the missing word.

Men used a few simple words in social situations and the limited variety of their vocabulary became even more marked when it came to paying compliments, researchers said.

The study showed compliments from men were 90 percent predictable -- frequently making use of words "you," "really" and "nice" -- while women had more detail in their compliments, making them less predictable and more genuine-sounding.

The Manchester University team helped dispel the myth of women as chatterboxes and discovered it's men who have the tendency to blather on by analyzing supporting research into male and female communication.

Only two out of 56 separate studies analyzing the difference in communication between men and women concluded that women use more words per day than men - while 24 concluded that men use more.

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