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May 22, 1987

Applications of Social Science to Clinical Medicine and Health Policy

JAMA. 1987;257(20):2831. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390200171039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In the ancient folktale of "The Emperor's Clothes," a magician is said to have offered to weave a beautiful suit of clothing for the Emperor that would, however, the magician claimed, be visible only to the wisest in the land. Once the magician completed his task, the Emperor decided to hold a parade to show off his resplendent new attire. His followers lined the parade route to see the magician's highly praised handiwork. As the Emperor proceeded through the cheering throng of people, a small boy stepped from the crowd, and exclaimed, "Look, the Emperor has no clothes!" Suddenly, the Emperor halted in his path and a hushed silence fell over the crowd as the reality of the child's remark became apparent to all who heard.

Similarly, this book, an edited series of contributions by eminent social and behavioral scientists, provides new insights into the realities that confront the clinical