Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Alan Hartley

Reader 2

Jennifer Ma

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Kate M. Pluth


This correlational and experimental study examines how people with different levels of alexithymia and emotional intelligence write about their emotional experiences. Because research on expressive writing (writing about important emotional experiences) has found such far-reaching therapeutic benefits, and attributes much of it to expressive writing's linguistic properties, exploring how a person's emotional understanding relates to language matters. Sixty-eight participants engaged in Pennebaker's expressive writing paradigm, and their word usage was measured on a number of categories, as given by the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program. Results indicated that different levels of emotional intelligence and alexithymia correlated with certain parameters of word usage. However, few relationships were observed between the two attributes and change in word usage over time.