FACT CHECK: Did Albert Einstein Coin This Saying On The ‘Definition Of Insanity’?

Aislinn Murphy | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims that theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Einstein ever said this.

Fact Check:

Einstein famously developed the theory of special relativity, which suggests that objects can approach but not exceed the speed of light. His theory of general relativity, put forward in 1915, dealt with gravity and the distortion of space-time.

Throughout his career, Einstein published many scientific papers and multiple books. However, The Daily Caller could not find the quote anywhere in his collected works. (RELATED: Did Einstein Say That Technology Would Create A ‘Generation Of Idiots’?)

It does appear in “The Ultimate Quotable Einstein,” a compilation of Einstein quotes published by Princeton University Press, where it falls under the “misattributed” section. The book cites Rita Mae Brown’s 1983 book “Sudden Death” as the source of the quote. Brown credits one of the book’s characters with saying the well-known phrase.

This quote may have actually originated with a Narcotics Anonymous pamphlet two years earlier, according to the website Quote Investigator. Printed in 1981, the pamphlet offers a slightly different version of the saying: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”

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Aislinn Murphy

Fact Check Editor
Follow Aislinn on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].

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