Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Hist Psychol. 2009 May;12(2):43-59.

Eugene Bleuler's four As.

Author information

  • 1School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


One hundred years have passed since Eugene Bleuler first coined the term schizophrenia. In that time, a simple mnemonic, the Four As, has come to distort his complex descriptive pathology. However, at no stage did Bleuler give precedence to the Four As or describe them in such a fashion. The Four As are a caricatured representation of Bleuler's schizophrenia that distorts the later conceptualization of schizophrenia. Despite historical attempts to signal this error, it remains virulent in the schizophrenia literature, masquerading as historical fact. This article corrects this distortion and clarifies the precise relationship of the Four As to Bleuler's thinking. It discusses their emergence and persistence, and draws attention to Bleuler's emphasis of other important symptoms--most notably splitting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center