Writers’ Traits: Allegedly Common Ones 

Writers’ Traits: Allegedly Common Ones 

I’ve taught a course on the psychology of art (and creativity) for several decades, and I’ve always been interested in the nature of creativity. One of the course topics is what personality traits are frequently attributed to creative people in different fields and whether there is actually any supporting empirical evidence for the typical stereotype, for often stereotypes do contain a grain of truth.

Some of the less favourable characteristics (included in the DSM, the psychologists’ diagnostic manual) that frequently are assumed to be typical of writers include the following.

  • Alcoholism
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Depression or Bipolar Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

How valid are these associations?

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