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Men are more reluctant to share bad news than women – but are just as keen to talk about the good stuff, a study suggests.

Researchers studied 1,000 people over three experiments in which they were asked to note when they wanted to share, whether they did, and their motivations for doing so. 

The scenarios could be either positive – a new romance, for example – or negative, such as a job loss.

It is commonly thought that women are bigger sharers than men. However the results suggested that the gender differences depend on the information being disclosed.

Men are less keen to share bad news than women… but just as happy to talk about the good stuff, study suggests

Men are more reluctant to share bad news than women, a study of 1,000 people showed (Stock Image)

‘Men and women exhibit a similar desire and likelihood to disclose positive information, but men have a substantially lower desire and likelihood to disclose negative information than women,’ the researchers said.

The team, from Bayes Business School, London, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, and Bocconi University, Milan, found that women and men differed in their motivations for sharing.

Men were more focused than women on self-presentation. They were more likely to share in order to receive validation or entertain others, for example.

‘Men were significantly more likely to report being driven to disclose by a desire to enhance their image,’ the team wrote in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

‘Women more frequently indicated that they engage in disclosure in order to receive comfort, relative to men.

‘Men may be missing out on the psychological benefits of disclosing negative information.’



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