The Benefits of Fictional Perspective Taking in Expressive Writing

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dc.contributor.advisor Cunningham, Joseph Lehrhoff, Jacob 2014-05-19T14:35:17Z 2014-05-19T14:35:17Z 2014
dc.description.abstract The physical and psychological health benefits of disclosing personal trauma through writing are well established (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986) and have been seen in a variety of contexts, including when writing about imaginary traumas (Greenberg, Wortman, & Stone, 1996). Switching authorial voice perspective via pronoun use increases the positive effects of expressive writing (Campbell & Pennebaker, 2003), but no single perspective shows a greater effect than first-person (Seih, Chung, & Pennebaker, 2011). The current study examined whether disclosing emotions about a fictional, future event is an effective use of expressive writing, and whether disclosing from multiple first-person perspectives enhances the positive effect of such exercises. College students (n=53, female=44) were randomly assigned to write from a single first-person perspective (n=19), multiple first-person perspectives (n=17), or to a control group (n=17). The writing topic for experimental groups was rejection by a perspective employer, which was found to be the second most salient fear among college students (Fazackerley, 2004). Physical and psychological health questionnaires were expected to reflect improved wellbeing in experimental participants relative to controls. Results did not support expressive writing as an effective method for coping with future fears and are discussed in light of other research on expressive and creative writing.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Jacob Lehrhoff 2014
dc.subject Expressive Writing
dc.subject Creative Writing
dc.subject Psychology
dc.title The Benefits of Fictional Perspective Taking in Expressive Writing
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology MA Masters Psychology Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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