They were surprised when a magazine article asserted that women use an average of 20,000 words per day compared with 7,000 for men. If there had been that big a difference, he thought, they should have noticed it.
They found that the 20,000-7,000 figures have been used in popular books and magazines for years. But they couldn’t find any research supporting them.
“Although many people believe the stereotypes of females as talkative and males as reticent, there is no large-scale study that systematically has recorded the natural conversations of large groups of people for extended periods of time,” Pennebaker said.
Indeed, Mehl said, one study they found, done in workplaces, showed men talking more.
Still, the idea that women use nearly three times as many words a day as men has taken on the status of an “urban legend,” he said. —Randolphe E. Schmid —Study: Women don’t talk more than guys (Yahoo! | AP (will expire))