Neha Patil (Editor)

The unsuccessful self treatment of a case of "writer's block"

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The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of "writer's block" is a humorous academic article by psychologist Dennis Upper about writer's block. It contains no content outside title and journal formatting elements, including a humorous footnote. Published in 1974 in a peer reviewed journal, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, it is recognized as the shortest academic article ever and a classic example of humour in science, or at the very least among behavioral psychologists. It has been cited at least ten times.

The article received a humorous positive review which was published alongside the article.

The article has led to at least three similarly humorous and peer-reviewed, published replication studies, and several similar papers.

More seriously, the paper is said to be a case reinforcing the image of a writer's block as a "blank page", and encouraging brevity in writing. It has been also used as an example that humor can indeed be found in academic publishing.


The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of "writer's block" Wikipedia