Multiple personality has had considerable research and clinical attention focused on it since the early 1980's, and this interest has increased significantly from that point forward. However, multiple personality was known and studied even prior to the work of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the Austrian psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis. Well-known French psychologists Pierre Janet (1859-1947) and Alfred Binet (1857-1911), among others, had written about it in the late nineteenth century, prior to Freud's writings. With the rise of psychoanalysis in the early twentieth century, the study of multiple personality and dissociation waned dramatically for many years. Two famous multiple personality cases in the United States were popularized by books and then films: The ThreeFaces of Eve in 1957 and Sybil in 1973.
In 1980, multiple personality disorder (MPD) was officially sanctioned as a legitimate psychiatric disorder by its inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3d ed., 1980, DSM-III) published by the American Psychiatric Association. The official diagnostic label was changed in the fourth edition, DSM-IV (1994), to dissociative identity disorder (DID), though it is still commonly known as multiple personality.
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