Rosenhan was one of these critics. As a researcher and psychiatrist himself, he put together a team of eight perfectly healthy and sane “pseudo patients” (five. Being Sane in Insane Places. D. L. ROSENHAN. If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them? The question is neither capricious nor itself insane. 8 sane people (pseudopatients) gained secret admission to hospitals in 5 states on the East and Rosenhan, D. L. (). On being sane in insane places.

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The inferences to be made from these matters are quite simple. If it makes no sense to label ourselves permanently depressed rosenuan the basis of sanr occasional depression, then it takes better evidence than is presently available to label all patients insane or schizophrenic on the basis of bizarre behaviors or cognitions.

The water closets have no doors. A clear example of such translation is found in the case of a pseudopatient who had had a close relationship with his mother but was rather remote from his father during his early childhood.

But that they affect the professionals — attendants, nurses, physicians, psychologists and social workers — who treat and deal with the mentally ill is more disconcerting, both because such attitudes are self-evidently pernicious and because they are unwitting.

For example, one kindly nurse found a pseudopatient pacing the long hospital corridors. This study was criticized on ethical grounds for the deceit to the different medical staffs, especially by the people who were tricked.

A distant relationship with his father is described as becoming very intense.

Each staff member was insanee to rate each patient who presented himself at admissions or on the ward according to the likelihood that the patient was a pseudopatient.

A Community Study New York: Some attendants were prone to verbal and physical abuse of patients when other staff were not present.


The experimenters feigned hallucinations to enter psychiatric hospitals, and acted normally afterwards. Although both course options are self-paced, you can choose from self-evaluated and instructor-evaluated options. If the sanity of such pseudopatients were always detected, there would be prima facie evidence that a sane individual can be distinguished from the insane context in which he is found. That such a variety of medications should have been administered to patients presenting identical symptoms is itself worthy of note.

If I were to drink a quart of blood and, concealing what I had done, come to the emergency room of any hospital vomiting blood, the behavior of the rosenhwn would be quite predictable. Pseudopatients used pseudonyms, and those who worked in the mental health field were given false jobs in a different sector to avoid invoking any special treatment or scrutiny.

The average amount of time spent by attendants outside of the cage plces A nurse unbuttoned her uniform to adjust her brassiere in the present of an entire ward of viewing men.

On Being Sane In Insane Places

Normality and presumably abnormality is distinct enough that it can be recognized wherever it occurs, for it is carried within the person. One psychiatrist pointed to a group of patients who were sitting outside the cafeteria entrance half an hour before lunchtime.

But what holds for medicine does not hold equally well for psychiatry. Based in part on theoretical and anthropological considerations, but also on philosophical, legal, and therapeutic ones, the view has grown that psychological categorization of mental illness is useless at best and downright harmful, misleading, and pejorative at worst.

In order to generalize the findings, admission into a variety of hospitals was sought. The 12 hospitals in the sample were located in five different states on the East and West coasts.

Rosenhan experiment – Wikipedia

Psychiatric diagnoses, on the contrary, carry with them personal, legal, and social stigmas. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. Better to err on the side of caution, to suspect illness even among the healthy. Today, psychopathology is still very subjective and arguably as much of an art as it is a science, with questionable criteria as to what is considered a mental “illness” or not. At times, depersonalization reached such proportions belng pseudopatients had the sense that they were invisible, or at least unworthy of account.


The first concerns roesnhan proliferation of community mental health facilities, of crisis intervention centers, of the human potential movement, and of behavior therapies that, for all of their own problems, tend to avoid psychiatric labels, to focus on specific problems and behaviors, and inzane retain the individual in a relatively non-pejorative environment. Kety in a criticism of Inwane study: Not merely depressing, but frightening.

How Mad Are You? The experiment is instructive. Psychologist and writer Lauren Slater claimed to have conducted an experiment very similar to Rosenhan’s for her book Opening Skinner’s Box. Thus, notions of normality and abnormality may not be quite as accurate as people believe they are.

The label sticks, a mark of inadequacy forever.

Rosenhan experiment

Negative attitudes are there too and can easily be detected. Hospital records obtained after the experiment indicate that all pseudopatients were characterized as friendly and cooperative by staff.

The results inn published as Ten Days in a Mad-House.

Reactions to such depersonalization among pseudopatients were intense. A diagnosis of cancer that has placds found to be in error is cause for celebration.

On Being Sane in Insane Places

Nevertheless, their reports about the inside of the psychiatric hospital have been valuable. The second part of his study involved an offended hospital administration challenging Rosenhan to send pseudopatients to its facility, whom its staff would then detect.

Too few psychiatrists and psychologists, even those who have worked in such hospitals, know what the experience is like.