Negative and positive writing

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    Until Language on the Move came along, Web of Language was my favorite language-related blog. Now it’s my second-favorite … A few days ago, the blogger, Dennis Baron, Professor of English at the University of Illinois, wrote about a psychology experiment that had apparently shown that writers feeling negative are more effective writers than writers feeling positive. I don’t want to add to Professor Baron’s reflections on how to induce negativity in writers. What struck me about the study was that the researcher, Joe Forgas, Professor of Psychology at UNSW, seems to have a somewhat limited view of human emotions: “negative moods”, “neutral moods” and “positive moods” and, hey presto, we’ve captured the whole spectrum of writers’ emotions. Whatever happened to the nuances? Is a sad writer doing as well as a clinically depressed one? Is it more useful for my blog writing to be a bit melancholy or should I write from the depths of despair?
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2009

    Bibliographical note

    © 2018 Language on the Move. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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