News

New study shows how age and sex affect the social activity

The number of connections reaches a maximum at the age of 25 for both genders.

Unnamed call records, gender and age information of 3 million mobile phone users from a European country were used to provide a probabilistic interpretation about the communication patterns of individuals. The findings reveal that patterns in communication reflect the social goals of individuals. There is a clear difference in which men and women maintain their relationships.

- Young men are more connected than young women, and the patterns of connection change for both men and women as they grow older, states Postdoctoral researcher Kunal Bhattacharya from the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University.

At the age of 25 age both men and women are able to invest time in maintaining large social circles. This is also the time when men and women start looking for their prospective romantic partners. Once people settle down in life, they withdraw from causal relationships and invest time to balance between work and family life.

-        The number of connections reaches maximum at the age of 25 for both genders. While men maintain a lot of casual relationships women seem to be more focused on their romantic partner, explains Bhattacharya.

After the age of 25 the social circles start shrinking until it stabilizes again in late 40s. After 60s the decay begins again and old people appear to be rather socially isolated. However, on average older people use mobile technology less than others.

- From the late 30s women become more connected than men. This is when people get married, settle down and participate in the parenthood. The communication patterns of women would suggest their pivotal roles as parents and grandparents, adds Bhattacharya.

 - From late 40s till mid-60s the number of contacts is rather stable. This is the period when individuals divide time between varied family relations, such as children, parents, in-laws of children and friends, concludes Bhattacharya.

The joint study of Department of Computer Science, Aalto University and Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, shows how technological networks mirror the social fabric, and how data obtained from such networks may serve as tools to better understand the society. The data is from 2007, a period that precedes the advent of most of the social media.

Article "Sex differences in social focus across the life cycle in humans" is published on Royal Society Open Science April 6, 2016.

Link to pictures

More information:
Kunal Bhattacharya
PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow
Aalto University
Department of Computer Science
+358-50-512-4277
[email protected]

 

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Related news

aalto university comet interceptor image: George Brydon, MSSL/UCL
Press releases, Research & Art Published:

The ESA Comet Interceptor enters mission analysis phase with significant Finnish contributions

A new Comet Interceptor mission was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the early mission analysis phase. Comet Interceptor, planned to be launched in 2028, will study an entirely new comet which is flying through our Solar System for the first time.
Sotavangit
Press releases Published:

WarSampo publishes new Linked Open Data on the over 4,000 Finnish prisoners of war in Soviet Union

The Prisoners of War web application is based on archival material from Finland and Russia. The data is a part of the WarSampo application, which has been used by over half a million Finns to date.
Starting Up Pic: Aalto University
Press releases, Studies, University Published:

Aalto University launches free-for-all online entrepreneurship course 'to make sure no great idea goes unpursued'

Starting Up is co-created by students and the European startup community and is a new contribution to open education by the country that brought Elements of AI to the world
Äitiä ahdistanut raskaus voi näkyä pikkuvauvan tunnereaktioissa
Press releases Published:

Expectant mothers’ pregnancy-related anxiety may alter how infant brains respond to sad speech

Study shows correlation between mothers’ self-reported pregnancy-related anxiety, and babies’ blood flow to brain areas responsible for emotional responses when listening to sad speech