Close

01/16/2020

Authors are not able to provide any information on their own experience to inform the review. It is up to the reader to make decisions. It is possible that the reviewer will be biased.

Authors are not able to provide any information on their own experience to inform the review. It is up to the reader to make decisions. It is possible that the reviewer will be biased.
What happens when a systematic study of descriptive writing begins to reveal the differences between writers?
To find answers to these questions we must go to the people with the most valuable information available – the writers.
1. The First Paper
The first research paper was written by the psychologist, Dr. Jerald Lerner and the psychologist, Dr. John Cacioppo and published in 1987 by Cognitive Development. The research consisted of a questionnaire with an open-ended (see below) and open-ended (see below) questions for the writers of 1,000 short stories of different genres.
The questionnaire could be read by writers of all ages and at different stages in their career. One year later, Dr. Steven Pinker, the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature , a book on the history of moral development, used this information in his paper ‘ Why Good People Can’t Think Straight,’ where he states:
“The more they write, the more they say, the more they think. And the more they think, the more they write, the more they say. If you look at the number of essays published in leading creative outlets over the last few decades, all signs point to the conclusion that the quality of the writing has gotten worse, not better … If you want to write the kind of essay that will set an entire generation laughing, you really have to be a pretty good writer to convince an editor that you do.” (Ibid. p. 15)
The questionnaires were filled out in pairs on the one hand by the participants and the data was analyzed by Drs. John Cacioppo and Jerald Lerner. In summary, they found clear differences between the writer groups (Ibid. p. 13).
2. The Second Paper
A second research paper was written during the years 2004 and 2005 by Prof. Steven Pinker. (The paper is a summary of the first – see below – by Dr. John D. Cacioppo.) The first paper showed that the writers of the descriptive stories were not only different in their writing styles, their psychological profiles were also
There are two important points to note. First, many reviewers and editors think that writing of this quality requires years of writing experience. In fact the authors describe a level of mastery at which the author can take apart a complex problem in a few weeks and come up with the right answers. It is this level of writing mastery that allows the authors to achieve such a high level of creative productivity. But in other domains, which require a high degree of creativity