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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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.

On Being Sane in Insane Places

Given that the patient is in the hospital, he must be psychologically disturbed. And while he says that he has several good friends, one senses considerable ambivalence embedded in those relationships also. Being Sane in Insane Places speaker’s voice over at 2: It aimed to illustrate that people with a previous diagnosis of a mental illness could live normal lives with their health problems not obvious to observers from their behavior.

Theirs may be different from ours, particularly with the passage of time and the necessary process of adaptation to one’s environment. But the precautions proved needless.

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. But we can and do speak to the relatively more objective indices of treatment within the hospital. Surely there is nothing especially pathological about such a history.


Conceivably, when the origins of and stimuli that give rise to a behavior are remote or unknown, or when the behavior strikes us as immutable, trait labels regarding the behavior arise. It is difficult to know the extent to which they were treated like patients or like research colleagues.

During the first three hospitalizations, when accurate counts were kept, 35 of a total of patients on the admissions ward voiced their suspicions, some vigorously. On the ward, attendants delivered verbal benig occasionally serious physical abuse to patients in the presence of others the pseudopatients who were writing it all down. I’ll be there for a couple of days and I’ll get out.

If patients were powerful rather than powerless, if they were viewed as interesting individuals rather than diagnostic entities, if they beingg socially significant rather than social lepers, if their anguish truly and wholly compelled our sympathies and concerns, would we not seek contact with them, despite the availability of medications? The incidence of staff meetings and the enormous amount of record-keeping on patients, for example, have not been as substantially reduced as has patient contact.

On being sane in insane places.

The notes kept by pseudopatients are full of patient behaviors that were misinterpreted by well-intentioned staff. Apart from occasional angry exchanges, friction was minimal. But we can and do speak to the relatively more objective indices of treatment within the hospital. Forty-one patients were alleged, with high confidence, to be pseudopatients by at least one member of the staff.

The only way out was to point out that they’re [the psychiatrists] correct.


None had a history of mental illness. Eventually, the patient himself accepts the diagnosis, lnsane all of its surplus meanings and expectations, and behaves accordingly.

Science, — Enter rozenhan name and e-mail address to quickly register and be notified of new entries. To a group of young residents he indicated that such behavior was characteristic of the oral-acquisitive nature of the syndrome. One could indeed engage in good conversation with them. D o the salient characteristics that lead to diagnoses reside in the patients themselves or in the environments and contexts in which observers find them?

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.

Affective stability is absent. One group was told that the actor “was a very interesting man because he looked neurotic, but actually was quite psychotic” while the other insanw told nothing. To raise questions regarding normality and abnormality is in no way to question the fact that some behaviors are deviant or odd.

On being sane in insane places.

Length of hospitalization ranged from 7 to 52 days, with an average of 19 days. The rest were either pocketed or deposited in the toilet. After admission, the pseudopatients acted normally and told staff that they felt fine and had no longer experienced any additional hallucinations.

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