Rosenhan experiment

Interesting reading about Prof Rosenham and his experiments in the ’70’s in the USA. I mentioned this to the two ladies in the Local Mental Health Unit and they had never heard of him. 

Rosenhan experiment

Two studies.

The first involved the use of healthy associates or “pseudopatients,” who briefly simulated auditory hallucinations in an attempt to gain admission to 12 different psychiatric hospitals in five different states in various locations in the United States.

The second involved asking staff at a psychiatric hospital to detect non-existent “fake” patients. In the first case hospital staff failed to detect a single pseudopatient, in the second the staff falsely detected large numbers of genuine patients as impostors. The study is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis.

The study concluded, “It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals” and also illustrated the dangers of depersonalisation and labelling in psychiatric institutions. It suggested that the use of community mental health facilities which concentrated on specific problems and behaviours rather than psychiatric labels might be a solution and recommended education to make psychiatric workers more aware of the social psychology of their facilities.

pity they didn’t know about his experiments ‘cos then I might not be indelibly labelled as a high risk suicide

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3 Responses to “Rosenhan experiment”

  1. Deb Acle Says:

    Clinical psychiatry is one of those faux-disciplines that’s dead but won’t lie down.

    So much of Freud, on which all these mindbending ‘disciplines’ is based, has been discredited.

    Follow the money: sadly, big pharma has a mint invested in peddling their wares through these ‘doctors’.

    To be honest, the vast majority of psychs I’ve ever encountered (socially, professionally and 3 times as a patient now) are seriously personality disordered or are so dejected and disempowered that you just know it’s a question of the blind leading the half-blind.

  2. Iowa City Dentist Says:

    This doesn’t suprise me… In fact, I contend it’s hard to tell the patients apart from the doctors at these places!

    my page on Iowa City Denists

  3. » Rosenhan experiment Says:

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