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British psychologist Hans Eysenck's life & his 'unsafe' theories can be made into a movie

Eysenck's theories on how personality types could be a big cause for cancer or heart disease are looking dubious now.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 13, 2019, 09.56 AM IST
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Hans Eysneck
Here's why Hans Eysenck is making headlines:

Eysenck, the British psychologist?
Yes, that is right.

What do you know about him? Now, don’t try to test my general knowledge. He died in 1997.
But this goes beyond GK and into academics. So you know about his work?

Okay. I know he did work on human personality — linking cancer and heart disease to personality types.
Yes. Guess what? Some fresh research has suggested his work was not up to the mark.

Oh really? Do you know Eysenck ranks third, only after Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, when it comes to social sciences citation.
And that makes this finding bigger.

You bet. What exactly happened?
King’s College London has said 26 of Eysenck’s published papers were “unsafe”.

Unsafe?
Not scientifically rigorous enough.

So what does it mean?
Recall his theories on how personality types could be a big cause for cancer or heart disease, bigger than smoking?

Pretty outrageous, no?
Yes. And yet they were cited widely, across the world. Now all that may look dubious.

Was his work not criticised earlier?
It has been, but this time there is an institutional action by King’s College. There is also an interesting twist.

Now what?
A journal started by Eysenck himself had invited a British psychiatrist, Anthony Pelosi, to write a paper on his work. But when it was submitted, the journal refused to publish it.

Because this paper disputed the founder’s work?
Precisely. So Pelosi had to look for three years for another journal that would publish it. Finally, one did in early 2019.

Hmmm, I can already smell a movie script in this story.

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