Franz Alexander, the founder and first director of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago, started the Specificity Project in the year 1951, and was the team leader until 1956. Then he left and was followed by Thomas French, and later by George Pollock, who now, three years after the termination of the project, reports about its design, progress, and quantitative findings. As a presentation of this often-discussed and controversial project, the present volume is the first one to be published. It will be followed by further details about the case study by teams of experts in different medical specialties.
The diseases studied are bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, essential hypertension, neurodermatitis, thyrotoxicosis, duodenal peptic ulcer. Statistical analysis seems to indicate that one can indeed differentiate between certain specific diseases, "purely" on the basis of the psychological patterns associated with each one of them.