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Professional Writers, Personality Types, & Genre Choice
AuthorDarnell, Kimberly-Anne M.
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The major question of interest in this study is, Are there associations between professional writers’ personality types and the genres in which they write? Accordingly, data were collected via interviews with and surveys of professional writers. In Phase I of the research study, three face-to-face interviews with writers representative of different genres were conducted. Information from these interviews widened the number of participants for Phase II, in which an online survey asking for self-reported personality types and professional genres was extended to many more writers via an emailed web link. Once all survey results were in, Fisher’s Exact Test was performed to assess the statistical relevance of the data. The results of this study suggest that writers of different genres may differ significantly on the personality index of judging-perceiving, with poets tending to identify with a perceiving style while fiction, nonfiction, and academic writers tend to identify with a judging style. This finding seems to echo the notions put forth in the interviews as well, that poets are perceived as especially unique from other writers. Follow-up research is encouraged to verify this tendency, as this was a limited pilot study. This knowledge may be useful for professional writers, aspiring writers, and teachers of writing in vocational, pedagogical, and personal capacities.