A LEADING mental health expert has warned the X Factor could cause mental health problems.
She likened the Simon Cowell TV phenomenon to banned Sixties psychological experiments designed to see how see how much 'reward and punishment' could be dished out before insanity set in.
The warnings came from Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of mental health charity Sane.
She claimed the X Factor was 'playing fast and loose with people's minds' and added: “It is like the 'conditioning experiments’ that took place in the Sixties on animals to see what combination of reward and punishment would drive them crazy.
“These reality programmes are in some ways repeating these outlawed experiments and this isn’t psychological research, it is entertainment.”
Wallace was commenting after Ceri Rees, a 54-year-old tone-deaf widow, who was rejected four times in six years on The X Factor was subjected to several minutes of humiliation after her latest audition.
Wallace said: “Things known to precipitate mental illness are feelings of failure to meet expectations of ourselves and others, and social rejection. It can be a trigger to potentially depressive illnesses.
“The public has a role to play and is slowly realising that it also demeans the spectator.”