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Old 1st February 2020, 11:47 AM   #41
WhatRoughBeast
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Talking about Eysenck's results at second hand makes it easy to underestimate how incredibly powerful his claims were. This article https://www.discovermagazine.com/the...scandal-part-1 reproduces the results from one study.

Note that, with a very simple written questionnaire, Eysenck produces a "No diagnosis" label for about half (57%) the sample (770 out of 1353), and NOT ONE of those people developed cancer. Of the remaining 583, 205 got cancer, a bit under 40%.

Did I mention "incredibly"? Yeah. Talk about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence. At the least, insurance companies should have been on this like white on rice - if it were true. The ability to dismiss nearly 60% of the population from the cancer risk population would have been, well, revolutionary.

This reminds me rather of the original radiation hormesis paper by Chen et al https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/ which dealt with an incident in Taiwan in which cobalt-60 contaminated the rebar of several Taiwanese apartment complexes. The result was fairly long-term exposure to elevated, but fairly low, radiation levels. The health of the exposed tenants was tracked, and Chen reported on the results.

So far, so good. But look at the results in the article. After 5 years the overall mortality rate from the expected cancers and other health effects had fallen to nearly 10% of that of the population as a whole. The term "astounding" can fairly apply. And such massive and prompt effects simply don't pass the smell test, although further research would be warranted and might change my mind if the result were consistently reproduced.

So, my only real question is why Eysenck's results were not dismissed out of hand, and why it has take this long to even consider a hard-eyed review?
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Old 1st February 2020, 12:37 PM   #42
jimbob
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Skepticism doesn't need other reasons. His ideas stand or fall on their own merits. You're poisoning the well.
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Eysenck appears to have been poisoning science.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Then argue the poison, not the implication.
Except that it's an extraordinary claim, so needs stronger evidence rather than the word of a fraudster.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Go poison some other thread!
Do you actually know anything at all about Eysenck that you can contribute with? Do you understand the words appear and guess?
When I know that a guy like Eysenck was a shill of the tobacco industry who got paid for coming up with contrived excuses for dismissing what was actually known about the effects of smoking (Wikipedia), I have ample reason to assume that his alleged research in other fields may also have been biased. He was so callous that he didn't mind getting paid for letting people smoke themselves to death.
I don't claim that it is proof that his research was biased.
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Sorry. I obviously failed to proofread properly.

Let me repeat, to be clear: We know the risk factors for cancer, and having the wrong kind of personality is not one of them.

Let me expand: Some people who don't have "cancer-prone" personalities get cancer. Some people who do have "cancer-prone" personalities do not. That fact alone should be enough to cast significant doubt on the theory.

The theory is bonkers.
And especially if taken in conjunction with dismissing smoking as a cause of cancer.
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Old 1st February 2020, 03:34 PM   #43
Elaedith
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Dr Grossarth-Maticek has a rather weird rebuttal on a website.
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Old 1st February 2020, 04:36 PM   #44
jimbob
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Dr Grossarth-Maticek has a rather weird rebuttal on a website.
Yup, your description fits.

The rebuttal is less convincing than silence
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OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 1st February 2020, 04:46 PM   #45
jimbob
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Nothing in the article actually mentions any evidence of fraud, or of any studies done that show he was wrong. That's not to say that he wasn't wrong or fraudulent. It is noted that he received funding from tobacco companies, which at least establishes a motive for fraud.

I haven't yet read the other sources linked in the article that might go into more detail about how he was shown to be wrong (or fraudulent). But I'm not seeing anything in the article itself that supports it's conclusion.

Back to the OP - and I have highlighted the key passage:

Given the general rate of cancer deaths in the population (roughly 1/3 in the UK isn't it?) If those with such a personality were 121 times more likely to die from it, there would have to be a personality type that was almost completely immune to cancer - and at least a third of the population would have to have this personality type.


Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Work of renowned UK psychologist Hans Eysenck ruled ‘unsafe’

Quote:
Eysenck’s ‘cancer-prone’ personality theory had come under criticism for decades

The work of one of the most famous and influential British psychologists of all time, Hans Eysenck, is under a cloud following an investigation by King’s College London, which has found 26 of his published papers “unsafe”.

King’s says the results and conclusions of the papers “were not considered scientifically rigorous” by its committee of inquiry. Prof Sir Robert Lechler, the provost at King’s, has contacted the editors of the 11 journals where the papers appeared, recommending they should be retracted.

Eysenck, who died in 1997, published prolifically and wrote many well-known books, holding controversial views on a number of subjects, including race and IQ. The investigation centred on research that claimed personality played a bigger part in people’s chances of dying from cancer or heart disease than smoking.

...

Among more than 3,000 people in the studies, Eysenck and his colleague claimed people with a “cancer-prone” personality were 121 times more likely to die of the disease than those without, and people with “heart-disease prone” personalities 27 times more likely.

Cancer-prone personalities were described as generally passive in the face of stress from outside. Those who were heart disease-prone were unable to leave an unsatisfactory situation alone, which made them increasingly aggressive and hostile. A healthy personality was autonomous, with a positive outlook.

Eysenck and Grossarth-Maticek apparently even had a “cure” for cancer. In one study, they gave 600 “cancer-prone” individuals a leaflet on how to be more “autonomous” and take control of their destiny. It contained such advice as: “Your aim should always be to produce conditions which make it possible for you to lead a happy and contented life.”

It appeared to deliver miracles. Over 13 years, the 600 people randomly assigned to bibliotherapy, as it was called, had all-cause mortality of 32%, compared with 82% of 600 people not fortunate enough to receive a leaflet.
tl;dr the studies were probably fraudulent.
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OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 2nd February 2020, 02:22 PM   #46
Elaedith
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Originally Posted by WhatRoughBeast View Post

So, my only real question is why Eysenck's results were not dismissed out of hand, and why it has take this long to even consider a hard-eyed review?
There were many criticisms at earlier times. This is Eysenck's reply in 1991 to some of the criticisms.
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