Not a member? Sign up now
Prepare your grain of salt: psychologist Geoffrey Beattie of Manchester University reviewed fifty-six studies of male and female communication and found that only two showed women to be the more talkative sex, contrary to popular belief. The professor then conducted his own study, recording fifty conversations on various topics, before giving volunteers scripts of the chats with every fifth word omitted, asking them to fill in the missing spaces, Mad Libs-style.
According to the professor, the words spoken by women were harder to guess, due to their more thoughtful use of language. In paying compliments, for example, men would use more bland, generalized words such as "nice" and "good," sounding like they couldn't get to the televised game fast enough. A typical compliment from a man might be "You look really nice today," where a woman was likelier to say, "I really love your jacket. Where did you buy it?" which more than one stand-up comedian has made hay of in his act.
In the end, men's words could be guessed 81% of the time, as opposed to 71% for the women. When it came to talking about current events though, men and women were found to be verbal equals. Summing it up, Professor Beattie stated:
"It is men who are more likely to talk for the sake of talking when engaged in social chitchat by recycling their words with ritualistic and redundant language that doesn't contain new information."
So instead of a "chatty cathy," perhaps we should be referring to a "chatty matty."