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Sylvia Plath effect

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The Sylvia Plath effect is a term coined by psychologist James C. Kaufman in 2001. It refers to the phenomenon of female poets being more likely to be mentally ill than any other class of writers.

The effect is named after the American poet Sylvia Plath.


  • Kaufman, J.C. (2001). "The Sylvia Plath effect: Mental illness in eminent creative writers." The Journal of Creative Behavior, 35(1).

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