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A general process model of the gender-linked language effect: Antecedents for and consequences of language used by men and women
Unformatted Document Text:  General Process Model of the GLLE 2 language effect, the object of theoretical scrutiny. The following are four cornerstone findings of the effect have been established in over 15 empirical investigations: Finding #1. Small but consistent differences have been found in the way women and men use language. As we have summarized elsewhere (Mulac, Bradac, & Gibbons, 2001), over 30 empirical investigations, including our own, have uncovered gender-based differences in language use. For example, women are generally found to use more intensive adverbs (e.g., “really,” “so”) and references to emotion (e.g., “excited,” “sad”), whereas men tend to use more elliptical sentences (e.g., “Great picture.”) and references to quantity (e.g., “40’ tall”). Using trained language coders and multivariate statistical analytic procedures (i.e., discriminant analysis), our research has shown that generally 75% accuracy of gender recognition can be attained. However, these differences must be considered small in nature because intelligent, native speakers of English (i.e., university students) are unable to guess the sex of the speakers or writers with anything greater accuracy than chance (50%). Finding #2. Women’s and men’s language use leads them to be judged differently, on psychological characteristics, by neutral observers. In a series of investigations of transcribed language use in various contexts (oral and written descriptions of landscape photographs, public speeches, written essays on morality, and problem solving dyadic interactions), by primary and secondary students, university students, and older individuals, we have found differences in the ratings of male and female communicators given by untrained observers. Specifically, female communicators generally receive higher ratings on Socio-Intellectual Status (high social status, literate) and Aesthetic Quality (nice, beautiful), whereas males receive higher ratings on Dynamism (strong, aggressive). These results have not differed for male and female transcript raters, or for older or younger observers.

Authors: Mulac, Anthony., Bradac, James. and Palomares, Nicholas.
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background image
General Process Model of the GLLE
2
language effect, the object of theoretical scrutiny. The following are four cornerstone findings of
the effect have been established in over 15 empirical investigations:
Finding #1. Small but consistent differences have been found in the way women and men
use language. As we have summarized elsewhere (Mulac, Bradac, & Gibbons, 2001), over 30
empirical investigations, including our own, have uncovered gender-based differences in
language use. For example, women are generally found to use more intensive adverbs (e.g.,
“really,” “so”) and references to emotion (e.g., “excited,” “sad”), whereas men tend to use more
elliptical sentences (e.g., “Great picture.”) and references to quantity (e.g., “40’ tall”). Using
trained language coders and multivariate statistical analytic procedures (i.e., discriminant
analysis), our research has shown that generally 75% accuracy of gender recognition can be
attained. However, these differences must be considered small in nature because intelligent,
native speakers of English (i.e., university students) are unable to guess the sex of the speakers or
writers with anything greater accuracy than chance (50%).
Finding #2. Women’s and men’s language use leads them to be judged differently, on
psychological characteristics, by neutral observers. In a series of investigations of transcribed
language use in various contexts (oral and written descriptions of landscape photographs, public
speeches, written essays on morality, and problem solving dyadic interactions), by primary and
secondary students, university students, and older individuals, we have found differences in the
ratings of male and female communicators given by untrained observers. Specifically, female
communicators generally receive higher ratings on Socio-Intellectual Status (high social status,
literate) and Aesthetic Quality (nice, beautiful), whereas males receive higher ratings on
Dynamism (strong, aggressive). These results have not differed for male and female transcript
raters, or for older or younger observers.


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