Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Carmen Fought

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Rights Information

© 2016 Alexandra Levin


The purpose of this study proposal is to examine the potential relationship between linguistic creativity and mood disorders, specifically depression and bipolar disorder. Participants will be approximately 67 adults who have either bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, or serve as a healthy control group. Participants will complete prompts in order to measure linguistic creativity and then fill out several questionnaires relating to depressed mood, mania, general creativity, and rumination levels. It is predicted that bipolar disorder will have higher levels of certain types of linguistic creativity, such as lexical and semantic creativity, whereas depression will have more syntactic creativity. Furthermore, it is anticipated that higher rumination levels in the depressed group will be associated with higher levels of linguistic creativity, as opposed to participants in the depressed group with lower levels of rumination. Lastly, it is predicted that the type of writing prompt will influence the amount of creativity exhibited by each participant group. The proposed study has implications for therapeutic benefits, the emergence of a new area of research in two separate fields, and a new way of analyzing shifts in speech patterns of those with mood disorders.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.