Monday, June 21, 2004

girls just want to have; all you need is

Last week, as a quasi-quiz feature, I asked what were the most common words named by WLS respondents on four tasks where respondents were given one minute to say as many words as they could think of that:

task #1: started with the letter F
task #2: started with the letter L
task #3: were kinds of animals
task #4: were kinds of foods

The number #1 words were: fun; love; dog & cat; and bread.

As an additional matter, women turn out to be more likely to have said either "fun" or "love" than men, even taking into account that women said more words overall (in both cases, the adjusted difference was between 8-10 percentage points). The prominence of "fun" and "love" in respondent's mind would seem consistent with a general storyline from various WLS mental health measures, which is that the WLS respondents are a relatively happy lot. This made me wonder if people who said "fun" or "love" were more likely to be happy and/or healthy than people who did not say either. Alas, by various measures of happiness and healthiness, there were no differences between those for whom fun or love sprang to mind and those to whom it did not.

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