Tannen [(1990) You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, New York: William Morrow] and others have argued that women and men differ in communication style, and particularly in the way they respond to “troubles talk.” However, her research on gender differences in communication style has primarily made use of qualitative analysis of naturally occurring discourse. A Communication Styles Survey was developed to assess self-reported behavioral and emotional responses in “troubles talk” situations. This survey was administered to a total of 384 participants, the majority of whom were Caucasian college students. Statistically significant gender differences consistent with Tannen's predictions were found but the effect sizes tended to be small. Self-reported responses to troubles talk (such as giving advice) showed consistent individual differences among persons; for example, some persons tend to report themselves as “advice givers” or “jokers” across a wide range of troubles talk situations.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2004
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