Summary Of On Being Sane In Insane Places

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In 1973, David L. Rosenthal started a provocative study of mental hospital. This study is “On Being Sane in Insane Places”. Rosenthal motivation was to figure out if psychologist, psychiatrist, and other mental health professionals could really distinguish between the mentally ill and the mentally healthy based on a diagnosis brought upon certain characteristics. Those characteristics included the context of the behavior, the persistence of the behavior, the social deviance the person presents, their subjective distress, the psychological handicap they might experience, and the effects on their functioning that the behavior might cause (Hock, 2013).
Rosenthal decided to start this study because he questioned if those characteristics that created
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According to Rosenthal, that happens because of the overwhelming influence a psychiatric hospital environment can have over the mindset of the treating staff. Once a person is labeled with a psychological disorder, all of the staff viewed them as just another head with schizophrenia and not as individual people. Rosenthal described that as the “stickiness of the diagnostic label”. When the patient got the label, the illness becomes their main characteristic and trait, and all of the behaviors made by the patient are attributed to the illness even if normally in another context and environment those behaviors might have been considered …show more content…
A warm relationship with his mother cools during adolescence. A distant relationship with his father is described as intense. Affective [emotional] stability is absent. His attempts to control emotionality with his wife and children are punctuated by angry outbursts and, in the case of children, spanking. And although he says he has several good friends, one senses considerably ambivalence embedded in those relationships also (p. 230).
Another threat for assessors in clinical decision making seen in the study was being able to distinguish between dispositional versus situational factor. The clinicians had a hard time figuring out what were the behaviors from a mentally ill person versus the mentally healthy because of the environment and context in which they found themselves, they assumed the mentality that if the patients were in the hospital it was because they were “crazy” (Hock,

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