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The Sylvia Plath Effect,

April 11, 2009



The Sylvia Plath effect is a term coined by psychologist James C. Kaufman in 2001 to refer to the phenomenon that creative writers are more susceptible to mental illness. Kaufman’s work demonstrated thatfemale poets were more likely to suffer from mental illness than any other class of writers. This finding has been discussed in many international newspapers, including the New York Times. The finding is consistent with other psychological research studies.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 12, 2009 10:38 am

    Hmmmm… except everyone is a poet. Do we only pay attention to the “mentally ill female poets” so that they are the ones who become famous, therefore making it seem as if a larger proportion of female poet are mentally ill? Perhaps these mentally ill female poets are prophets who speak to the heart of the masses. I’m wondering about this study…

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