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J Health Psychol. 2019 Mar;24(4):421-439. doi: 10.1177/1359105318822045. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Personality and fatal diseases: Revisiting a scientific scandal.

Abstract

During the 1980s and 1990s, Hans J Eysenck conducted a programme of research into the causes, prevention and treatment of fatal diseases in collaboration with one of his protégés, Ronald Grossarth-Maticek. This led to what must be the most astonishing series of findings ever published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature with effect sizes that have never otherwise been encounterered in biomedical research. This article outlines just some of these reported findings and signposts readers to extremely serious scientific and ethical criticisms that were published almost three decades ago. Confidential internal documents that have become available as a result of litigation against tobacco companies provide additional insights into this work. It is suggested that this research programme has led to one of the worst scientific scandals of all time. A call is made for a long overdue formal inquiry.

KEYWORDS:

cancer epidemiology; personality and cancer; personality and heart disease; research ethics; research misconduct

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