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女人比男人话多?

2014-08-12    来源:ScienceDaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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Do women talk more than men? 

 
We've all heard the stereotype: Women like to talk. We bounce ideas off each other about everything from career moves to dinner plans. We hash out big decisions through our conversations with one another and work through our emotions with discussion. At least, that's what "they" say. But is any of it actually true? Can we really make such sweeping generalizations about the communication patterns of women versus those of men? The research is surprisingly thin considering the strength of the stereotype: Some studies say yes, women are more talkative than men. Others say there's no pattern at all. Still others say men are even bigger chatterboxes.
 
Perhaps all this contradiction comes from the difficulty of studying such a phenomenon. Most of these studies rely on either self-reported data, in which researchers gather information by asking subjects about their past conversational exploits, or observational data, in which researchers watch the interactions directly. But both of these approaches bring with them some hefty limitations. For one thing, our memories are not nearly as good as we like to think they are. Secondly, researchers can only observe so many people at once, meaning large data sets, which offer the most statistical power to detect differences, are hard to come by. Another challenge with direct observation is that subjects may act in a more affiliative manner in front of a researcher.
 


But a new study from Northeastern professor David Lazer, who researches social net-works and holds joint appointments in the Department of Political Science and the College of Computer and Information Sciences, takes a different approach. Using so-called "sociometers" — wearable devices roughly the size of smartphones that collect real-time data about the user's social interactions — Lazer's team was able to tease out a more accurate picture of the talkative-woman stereotype we're so familiar with — and they found that context plays a large role.
 
The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports and represents one of the first academic papers to use sociometers to address this kind of question. The research team includes Jukka-Pekka Onnela, who previously worked in Lazer's lab and is now at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as researchers at the MIT Media Labora-tory and the Harvard Kennedy School.
 
For their study, the research team provided a group of men and women with sociometers and split them in two different social settings for a total of 12 hours. In the first setting, master's degree candidates were asked to complete an individual project, about which they were free to converse with one another for the duration of a 12-hour day. In the second setting, employees at a call-center in a major U.S. banking firm wore the sociometers during 12 one-hour lunch breaks with no designated task.
 
They found that women were only slightly more likely than men to engage in conversations in the lunch-break setting, both in terms of long- and short-duration talks. In the academic setting, in which conversations likely indicated collaboration around the task, women were much more likely to engage in long conversations than men. That effect was true for shorter conversations, too, but to a lesser degree. These findings were limited to small groups of talkers. When the groups consisted of six or more participants, it was men who did the most talking.
 
"In the one setting that is more collaborative we see the women choosing to work together, and when you work together you tend to talk more," said Lazer, who is also co-director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Northeastern's research-based center for digital humanities and computational social science. "So it's a very particular scenario that leads to more interactions. The real story here is there's an interplay between the setting and gender which created this difference."(ScienceDaily)

我们曾听过不少调侃女人话多的老话,女人谈论的话题从工作变动到晚餐计划,可谓多种多样,女人在做出重大决定之前都会和别人谈谈,然后看讨论的心情做决定。至少,“他们”都是这么说的。那这些都是真的吗?这样真的能全面概况男人和女人的交流模式吗?那可不一定:有些研究说,没错,女人就是比男人能说。而别的研究就说,其实并没有固定的模式。还有研究说男人甚至比女人还要聒噪。
这种矛盾可能来自于对这一种现象研究的困境。多数这类研究要么依赖于研究人员询问调查对象时,调查对象对以前交谈模式的自我陈述;要么是研究人员直接观察调查对象所得的数据。但这两种方法都有很强的限制性。第一,我们的记忆并不像我们认为的那样好。第二,研究人员一次能观察的人数量有限,这意味着很难得到大量的可以最大程度上判断出区别的数据。直接观察导致的另外一个问题就是,调查对象在有人观察他们的时候可能会和平时表现得不一样。
但研究社会关系网的David Lazer教授的采用不同的方法进行了一项新研究并联合政治系和计算机信息科学院召开了会议。用所谓的“社交仪”(sociometers)——这是一种大约有智能手机大小的可穿戴设备,它能实时收集用户的社交数据——Lazer的团队能对我们认为爱说话的女人调查得更细致一些,结果他们发现社交环境在其中扮演了很重要的角色。
该研究发表在《科学报告》上,这也是第一份用社交仪研究这类问题的学术研究。这个研究团队包括之前在Lazer的实验室工作但现在在哈佛公共健康学院的Jukka-Pekka Onnela,以及在MIT媒体研究室和哈佛肯尼迪学院的研究人员。
在他们的研究中,研究人员给一群男人和女人发了社交仪,然后把他们分成两种不同的社会设定,但总测量时间都是12个小时。在第一组设定中,研究生候选人在一天中的12个小时可以自由地同人交谈。在第二组设定中,美国一家银行的呼叫中心职员在12天里面,中午1小时的午餐时间戴上社交仪。
他们发现不管是长对话还是短对话中,女人只有在午餐的时候,才会比男人要健谈一些。如果话题是围绕着任务的合作的,长对话中女人的参与会比男人多一些。这种影响也较低程度的存在于短对话里。这些现象都局限于交谈者的人数比较少的情况。当群体里面有六个或者更多的人时,大部分时间都是男人在说话。
兼做研究数字人文科学和计算机社会科学的东北部科研中心主任的Lazer说:“在更需要合作的设定里面,我们看到女人选择了一起工作,而当她们一起工作的时候,说的话也更多。因此特定的情景能导致更多的交谈。在这里,设定和性别之间的相互影响导致了这种差异。”

 



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