A new study which has looked at the interests and likes of one million Facebook users has found that there are very distinct patterns in what people tend to like and be interested in at different ages but the one big difference the study found was that men and women find topics interesting at very different ages.
The study has built up a picture of basically what the average male and female likes using information gathered through Facebook and the most interesting discovery was just how out of sync the interest and likes of men and women are at different ages.
An example of this can be seen when looking at the topic of exercise. The study found that women tend to become serious about exercising at the age of 34 while the average man only starts to take a real interest in exercise at the age of 45.
When it comes to a love of literature the peak of interest in books for women comes at the age of 22 while men only start to peak in interest in their 50s.
British scientist Stephen Wolfram undertook the research, according to a report by the British newspaper The Daily Mail, he said: “It is almost shocking how much this tells us about the evolution of people’s typical interests.
“People talk less about video games as they get older and more about politics.
“Men typically talk more about sports and technology than women – and somewhat surprisingly to me, they also talk more about movies, television and music.”
He added in a post on his blog: “Some of this is rather depressingly stereotypical. And most of it isn’t terribly surprising to anyone who’s known a reasonable diversity of people of different ages.
“But what to me is remarkable is how we can see everything laid out in such quantitative detail (and through data analysis create) a kind of signature of people’s thinking as they go through life.”
He concluded: “Over the decades I’ve been steadily accumulating countless anecdotal “case studies” about the trajectories of people’s lives—from which I’ve certainly noticed lots of general patterns.
“But what’s amazed me about what we’ve done over the past few weeks is how much systematic information it’s been possible to get all at once. Quite what it all means, and what kind of general theories we can construct from it, I don’t yet know.
“But it feels like we’re starting to be able to train a serious “computational telescope” on the “social universe”.
“And it’s letting us discover all sorts of phenomena. That have the potential to help us understand much more about society and about ourselves.
“And that, by the way, provide great examples of what can be achieved with data science, and with the technology I’ve been working on developing for so long.”