EFL Writing Styles across Personality Traits and Gender: A Case for Iranian Academic Context

Document Type : Research Paper


Islamic Azad University-Tabriz Branch


The ways individuals use words can reflect basic psychological processes, including clues to their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and personality. This paper seeks to determine whether there is a relationship between Iranian EFL learners' writing styles and their personality and gender.  It focuses on gender and two key dimensions of personality (Neuroticism and Extroversion), which were assessed using Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (revised version). The concept of formality/contextuality was suggested as the most important dimension of variation between linguistic expressions. An empirical measure of formality, the F-score, was suggested, based on the frequencies of different word classes. Nouns, adjectives, prepositions, and articles are more frequent in formal styles; pronouns, adverbs, verbs and interjections are more frequent in contextual styles. The frequency of positive and negative emotional words was calculated by the program Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count. The result shows no significant relationship between these variables. The reason is supposed to be other non-linguistic determinants of formality (e.g. situation and educational level) which may have a stronger effect on EFL writing styles.


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