Speaker sex and perceived apportionment of talk
Cutler, A., & Scott, D. R.
Speaker sex and perceived apportionment of talk. Applied Psycholinguistics, 11
, 253-272. doi:10.1017/S0142716400008882.
It is a widely held belief that women talk more than men; but experimental evidence has
suggested that this belief is mistaken. The present study investigated whether listener bias contributes to this mistake. Dialogues were recorded in mixed-sex and single-sex versions, and male and female listeners judged the proportions of talk contributed to the dialogues by each participant. Female contributions to mixed-sex dialogues were rated as greater than male contributions by both male and female listeners. Female contributions were more likely to be overestimated when they were speaking a dialogue part perceived as probably female than when they were speaking a dialogue part perceived as probably male. It is suggested that the misestimates are due to a complex of factors that may involve both perceptual effects such as misjudgment of rates of speech and sociological effects such as attitudes to social roles and perception of power relations.