The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are mentally stable and those who are mentally unstable.
In 1970, 8 mentally stable people were granted admission into 12 different hospitals. They all told the same story of how they would hear a voice inside their head, it was unclear but often said “empty”, “hollow” and “thud”.
Right after they were admitted, the patients stopped showing any signs of abnormality. They took part in activities and talked to faculty and other patients as they would normally.
None of the psychiatrists ever stopped to say “I think they are getting better” or “they seem absolutely fine now” In fact, nurses and psychiatrists took normal activity such as walking or writing and attempted to represent it as a form of pathological behavior.
For example, staff would point to patients waiting outside the lunchroom as a form of oral-acquisitive syndrome, when really they were just bored and were anticipating their meal.
It’s interesting to note that even though staff didn’t recognize that these people were completely fine, patients recognized that they didn’t seem to have any problems.
This study highlights how powerful labels can be.
Wow…this also potentially bespeaks how the people who are charged with making these patients better are only trying to create terminology and atmosphere that keep them institutionalized.
That’s pretty disturbing.
To anyone saying “well they said they heard voices obviously the doctors are going to look at them with a weary eye”
You missed the point.
They were supposed to detect the patients getting better and instead of being able to tell that, they took any action that the patients performed and totally distorted it and blew it to epic proportions to make them seem completely and utterly abnormal to a point where the patients were institutionalized for months.
Also, sixpenceee, you missed the second part to this experiment - equally chilling, in my opinion. One hospital’s administration was angered by Rosenhan’s experiment, and challenged him to send impostor patients - mentally stable people masquerading as mentally unstable people - to their facilities. Their staff would then turn those pseudopatients away. Long story short, Rosenhan OK’d this part of the experiment. 193 people went to that hospital in that experiment period looking for help. They flagged 41 people as impostors and had doubts about another 42.
Rosenhan sent no one.
The staff of this hospital flagged impostor patients where none had existed.
That’s really worrying…
This is terrifying
This was conducted in 1970, so I wonder how much has changed since then
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”
powerful Black Science Man
or how tons of blacks and latinos end up in prison for carrying a joint or less worth of weed.
My Turret guardian came in the mail today! What a nice surprise. #portal
A while ago I did some animations on Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! by Wayforward.