On Being Insane In Sane Places By D. L Rosenhan

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In his essay, “On Being Insane in Sane Places” D.L Rosenhan discusses a series of experiments that he participated in involving psychiatric institutions and the effects of misdiagnoses of psychological disorders on the patients admitted to the hospitals. He sought to find out the validity of diagnoses and if insanity is in patients themselves or is caused by the environment they are in. Rosenhan’s research proved that the labels associated with mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, have a significant impact on the way patients are treated. To conduct his research, Rosenhan and eight sane pseudopatients were admitted to psychiatric institutions. One participant was a psychology graduate student in his 20’s and the remaining were older and established, meaning they were more settled in life. Three participants were women, five were men and all participants had a range of careers. The presence of the participants and the research was not known to the hospital staffs. The participants, now pseudopatients, were sent to twelve different quality psychiatric intuitions in five different states on the East and West coast. They were instructed to enter the admissions office and complain that they had been hearing voices All but one of the pseudopatients were admitted with schizophrenia. Thereafter, the pseudopatients did …show more content…
A psychiatric institution was told that pseudopatients would be attempting to admit themselves in the next month. The hospital staff identified various people who they thought may have been posing as mentally ill, but in reality, no pseudopatients walked through the doors. The hospital staff misdiagnosed various people as pseudopatients because the idea of wrong diagnoses was top of mind. It helped conclude Rosenhan’s argument that environment, in this case just being told that a pseudopatient could walk in, strongly affects

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