Writing about self-relevant emotional topics has a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. An appealing explanation for this phenomenon is that writing facilitates 'story-making' - the ability to make coherent and meaningful stories out of events in one's life - and it is forming a good story that promotes the health benefits. Despite the recent attention to this idea, the psychometrics and correlates of story-making are not known. The purpose of the current study was to explore this idea by measuring participants' story-making ability when writing about both emotional and unemotional topics and relate this to health, personality variables, and linguistic dimensions. Story-making was reliably assessed by independent raters, except for nonemotional topics. The ability to make good stories was not, however, consistent across topic, and story-making did not correlate with personality dimensions nor did it predict the health outcomes of participants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health