Skip to main content

Data from: Life history strategy and everyday word use

Cite this dataset

Manson, Joseph H. (2018). Data from: Life history strategy and everyday word use [Dataset]. Dryad.


Research by Sherman et al. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 873–888, 2013) has shown that, in speech during clinical-style interviews, life history strategy (LHS) was correlated with variation in the use of 16–19 word categories from the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program. However, links between individual difference variables and word use have been shown to vary as a function of communication context. Therefore, I sought to replicate their results using speech recorded during participants’ daily life via the Electronically Activated Recorder. I also used (1) observer ratings rather than self-ratings of the California Adult Q-Sort (CAQ) items as a measure of LHS, (2) the self-report Arizona Life History Battery (ALHB) as an additional measure of LHS, and (3) Bayesian multi-level aggregated binomial regressions as a complementary analytical technique to conventional correlations. In general, the Sherman et al. results were replicated, particularly with respective to distinctive (corrected for normativeness) LHS. People pursuing a slower distinctive LHS produced proportionately fewer swear words, sexual words, and affect words (particularly negative emotion and anger words), and more work-related words. They also produced fewer words overall. After controlling for distinctive LHS, women were more talkative than men. Associations between the ALHB and word use were weaker than those between the CAQ and word use.

Usage notes