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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Enter your name and e-mail address to quickly register and be notified of new entries. Inpsychiatrists were embarrassingly bad at distinguishing the mentally ill from the normal.

On being sane in insane places.

Today, psychopathology is still very subjective and arguably as much of an art as it is a science, with questionable criteria as to what same considered a mental “illness” or not.

In the early 70s, just like today, there were many critics of the mental health industry, specifically in the area of psychiatry.

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 men and three women plqces have themselves committed in one of several psychiatric hospitals across the United States.

In order to make this experiment work, the pseudo patients had to lie about their name, job, and the fact that they heard a voice in their heads. Immediately after admission, the pseudo patients acted normally asymptomatic while discreetly taking notes for the experiment.


Rosenhan experiment – Wikipedia

ijsane They could not be released without staff corroboration of their sanity. When the pseudo patients were eventually discharged, none of them were seen as normal, but all with ” schizophrenia in remission. In another twist to this study, some of the normal behavior of the pseudo patients was seen as pathological. For example, the staff notes for three of the patients read “patient engages in writing behavior. In a secondary study, a hospital was expecting some pseudo patients to be sent, and their staff identified 41 possible suspects whom they thought were not mentally ill.

It turns out, the experimenter actually sent no pseudo patients that time. This study was criticized on ethical grounds for the deceit to the different medical staffs, especially by the people who were tricked.

It was mentioned that the pseudo patients could have been displaying nervous or paranoid behavior as a result of the possibility of getting caught as fakers, thus making them look ill, although this kind of nervous behavior is well within the range of normal human behavior.

Modern critics point out that diagnoses were very different 40 years ago, and now, with the more recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, diagnoses are much more accurate.

Even today, there are many different models of mental illness, none of which are perfect or upon which are universally agreed. The line between sane and insane is a fine one, and a simple label can make all the difference via the expectancy bias. Different cultures tolerate what many would consider insane behaviors based on cultural or religious norms.


Sometimes, this “helping” placs get better is more about trying to change those who are just palces from us. Bo Bennett teaches both the Introduction to Psychology and Social Psychology courses to adult students, all around the world.

On being sane in insane places.

Although both course options are self-paced, you can choose from self-evaluated and instructor-evaluated options. Earn your certificates today! This is a FREE course that will rosenban only about 20 minutes. Earn your certificate and save lives! Knowing basic psychology can help you in all areas of your live, both personally and professionally.

On Being Sane in Insane Places

This bekng a full college-level course. Enroll in Social Psychology: This is a college-level course designed to introduce students to the field social psychology, helping students better understand why and how the way we feel, behave, and think is is largely a result of our social worlds.

Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here. On Being Sane in Insane Places. Science, — Want to Understand the Mind and Other People?