Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Speaker sex and perceived apportionment of talk

  • Anne Cutler (a1) and Donia R. Scott (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 28 November 2008

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.

Corresponding author
Anne Cutler, MRC Applied Psychology Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 2EF, England
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

L. G. Allan (1979). The perception of time. Perception & Psychophysics, 26, 340354.

M. Argyle , M. Lalljee , & M. Cook (1968). The effects of visibility on interaction in a dyad. Human Relations, 21, 317.

R. N. Bond , & S. Feldstein (1982). Acoustical correlates of the perception of speech rate: An experimental investigation. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 11, 539557.

P. L. Brotherton , & R. A. Penman (1977). A comparison of some characteristics of male and female speech. Journal of Social Psychology, 103, 161162.

M. D. Gall , A. K. Hobby & K. H. Craik (1969). Non-linguistic factors in oral language productivity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 871874.

F. Grosjean , & H. Lane (1974). Effects of two temporal variables on the listener's perception of reading rate. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 102, 893896.

F. Hilpert , C. Kramer , & R. A. Clark (1975). Participants' perceptions of self and partner in mixed sex dyads. Central States Speech Journal, 26, 5256.

N. N. Markel , J. F. Long , & T. J. Saine (1976). Sex effects in conversational interaction: Another look at male dominance. Human Communication Research, 2, 356364.

B. Preisler (1986). Linguistic sex roles in conversation. Berlin: de Gruyter.

J. M. Preston , & R. C. Gardner (1967). Dimensions of oral and written language fluency. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 6, 936945.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *