Coverage of Rosenhan’s “On Being Sane in Insane Places” in Keywords David Rosenhan, abnormal psychology, textbook analysis, labeling. 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. David L. Rosenhan. On Being Sane in Insane Places. If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them? The question is neither capricious nor itself insane.

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How many people, one wonders, are sane but not recognized as such in our psychiatric institutions? Be the first to ask a question about On being sane in insane places. Those who were in mental health professions alleged another occupation in order to avoid the special sqne that might be accorded by staff, as a matter of courtesy or caution, to ailing colleagues.

They were, therefore, motivated not only to behave sanely, but to be paragons of cooperation. insand

Immediately after admission, the pseudo patients acted normally asymptomatic while discreetly taking notes for the experiment.

How many have been needlessly stripped of their privileges of citizenship, from the right to vote and drive to that of handling their own accounts? Unlike the other experiments listed here, however, the aim of this experiment was not to criticize the diagnostic process, but to minimize the stigmatization of the mentally ill.

Krista marked it as to-read Aug 20, But psychiatric diagnoses are rarely found to be in error. The experiment required the pseudopatients to get out of the hospital on their own by getting the hospital davir release them, though a lawyer was retained to be on call for emergencies when it became clear that the pseudopatients would not ever be voluntarily released on short notice.


A very groundbreaking experiment that must have stirred up the psychology world in its time and pn is still discussed today.

On Being Sane In Insane Places

The consequences to patients hospitalized in such an environment — the powerlessness, depersonalization, segregation, mortification, and self-labeling — seem undoubtedly counter-therapeutic. Personal privacy is minimal. If it makes no sense to label ourselves permanently depressed on the basis of an 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.

His attempts to control emotionality with his wife and children are punctuated by angry outbursts and, in the case of the children, spankings.

Rosenhan experiment

And we may find it difficult to get along with one or another person — again for no reason that we can specify. This article describes such an experiment. Roseenhan much we may be personally convinced that we can tell the normal from the abnormal, the evidence is simply not compelling. 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.

Care was taken never to approach a particular member of the staff more than once a day, lest the staff member become suspicious or irritated. Rosenhan was one of these critics.

The pseudopatient spoke to patients and staff as he might ordinarily. In fact, Rosenhan had sent no pseudopatients to the hospital.

Rosenhan experiment – Wikipedia

In a more benign environment, one that was less attached to global diagnosis, their behaviors and judgments might have been more benign and effective. Their perceptions and behaviors were controlled by the situation, rather than being motivated by a malicious disposition. Gains can be made in deciding which of these is more nearly accurate by getting normal people that is, people who do not have, and have never suffered, symptoms of serious psychiatric disorders admitted to psychiatric hospitals and then determining whether they were discovered to be sane and, if so, how.


I’ll be there for a couple of days and I’ll get out. But while treatment has plqces, it is doubtful that people really regard the mentally ill in the same way that they view the physically ill. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Psychiatric diagnoses, on the contrary, carry with them personal, legal, and social stigmas.

Apart from occasional angry exchanges, friction was minimal. They were observed by three experts insaen mental health diagnoses i their challenge was to identify the five with mental health problems solely from their behavior, without speaking to the subjects or learning anything of their histories. The encounter frequently took the following bizarre form: The psychological stresses associated with hospitalization were considerable, and all but one of the pseudopatients desired to be discharged almost immediately after being admitted.

Indeed, many readers may see a similar pattern in their own experiences, with no markedly deleterious consequences.

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