Study highlights stereotypical language used on Facebook

By on October 1, 2013, 5:30 PM

A newly published study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center takes a look at the different words used by various demographics of Facebook users. Unsurprisingly and perhaps stereotypically, women talked the most about shopping and doing their hair while men posted about video games, sports and war.

Elsewhere, researchers found that women tend to use more emotional words like “excited” and spoke about love more often. Guys, on the other hand, were possessive and used the term “my” when discussing their girlfriend or wife. Conversely, women used words like “amazing” or “her” when talking about their significant other. Men also tended to swear more often and speak of objects like “Xbox.”

Perhaps the more interesting takeaway is the usage of words by age groups. The study found that teens between the age of 13 to 18 often mentioned things like school and homework while those a bit older (19-22) were chatting about apartments, campus life and having sex.

It gets even more predictable as the age ranges increase. Those between the age of 23 and 29 spoke most often about work, bills, home life and drinking while individuals aged 30 to 65 were more focused on family.

The researchers combed through more than 700 million words and phrases from status updates collected from a pool of 75,000 volunteers. It’s all part of a larger project known as the World Well-Being Project which seeks to create techniques for measuring psychological and physical well-being based on language in social media.




User Comments: 10

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1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Losing faith in humanity the more words I read from the pic.

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

Stereotypes exist for a reason. This graphic demonstrates that much, if nothing else.

3 people like this | Lurker101 said:

I love the stringency and idiocy of the word filters on here, yet a lot of those censored words are used in the image of this article.

negroplasty negroplasty said:

Where's the word "like" ? Gets used more than any of those above...

3 people like this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

It is the unflinching numbers of idi0ts walking the earth that moves me forward with the hope that perhaps I can make something better out of my own life.

Facebook, thank you for this reassurance.

3 people like this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Besides being amused by the fact that all these swear words are displayed uncensored, I can find the F word 10 times, very funny. Other than that this shouldn't come as a surprise to that many people, what would be more interesting is watching how sentence structure changes through the ages, with things like grammar and punctuation being focused on. But that's just going to tell me what I already know, people are losing the ability to formulate sentences.

Guest said:

Haha, I'm 29 and I don't fit into any of those categories. Most of my topics involve scientific revelations, Technological Discoveries (mainly techspot articles :) ), philosophical views, random whimsies, correcting abhorring grammar and posting my exquisite artwork. I do converse with my friends about our social interactions and my family, which I wish would stay private (damn you NSA, you don't need to know when I poop). Then again I've always associated myself with the vernacular, most of society is too driven by trivial matters. They should probably focus less on posting kittens and more on realizing what's around them. That's far-fetched though, most people won't accept that the universe doesn't revolve around them and that life is more grand than the little bubble they perceive.

Guest said:

Forget vernacular or secular, I confused them, brain fart. I'll just use the word contemporary.

Tanstar said:

"Conversely, women used words like ?amazing? or ?her? when talking about their significant other."

Lots of lesbians in the survey, or do these woman refer to themselves in the third person?

customcarvin customcarvin said:

I love the stringency and idiocy of the word filters on here, yet a lot of those censored words are used in the image of this article.

lol. I guess its kind of like national geographic, where its okay to show boobies and ding dongs as long as its "educational"

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