Friday, March 11, 2011
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 than other people. Kaufman’s work demonstrated that female 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.
The effect is named after the American poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide when she was thirty years old.