Rosenhan Section A

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Aims & Context

What did Rosenham aim to find out?

- if psychiatrists could tell the differnence between people who are genuinely mentally ill and those who are not or between these those who are 'normal' and those who are 'abnormal' AND to investigate whether the diagnosis of mental illness is based on a patients behaviour or on the environment the patient is in (labelling) and the extent to which this can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy

Laing suggested what?

- it would be best to treat patients such as schizophrenics in the community

He believed what? 

- the medical model was no better than demonology, and that labelling mental illness was a way of excluding people society feels uncomfortable with

What did Rosenhan want to observe?

- the process by which mental patients were labelled and strippes of their identities

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Aims & Context

Rosenhan believed that diagnosis of mental illness was...

- "useless at best and downright harmful and misleading at worst"

Who worked in a mental asylum?

- Goffman (1961)

What did he do?

- carried out a participant observation of what it is like to be institutionalised

What did he find? 

- like Rosenhan, found that mental patients were labelled insane and their behaviour was viewed as a reflection of the label

The patients went through what? 

- mortification (depersonalised and stripped of their identities - making them powerless)

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Aims & Context

Who else reinforced Rosenhans ideas of self-fulfilling prophies and labelling?

- Pygmalion

This study involved what?

- a new teacher of a 'special' group of pupils with a range of IQs who was told that these pupils had 'unusual potential' and they they would 'bloom'

The teachers expectations became what?

- a self-fulfilling prophecy

What happened to the IQs over 8 months?

- the weak pupils in the 'special' group showed greater increase in IQ than the control group - due to labelling

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What was Rosenhans research method?

- participant observation in a natural environment, which had a degree of control

How many pps were in the sample?

- 8 US pseudopatients (sane) including himself

How many males and females?

- 5 males and 3 females

What did the pps have?

- range of jobs from a psychiatrist, a painter and a housewife

Who else were pps?

- the staff and patients from 12 varied hospitals

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What did the 8 pseudopatients do to get admitted into the hospitals?

- say they heard a voice (of the same gender) saying "empty" "hollow" and "thud"

The hospitals varied from what?

- old to new, state to private

The pseudopatients had to do what?

- tell the truth about themselves except for their names and the voices, then act normal once admitted

What was the pseudopatients daily routine?

- talking to other patients and making notes, first in secret then openly as the staff didnt care

What were the pseudopatients told?

- they had to get out by their own devices. no one was going to come and get them 

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What did the pseudopatients ask the staff in the hospital?

- "pardon me, when am i likely to be discharged?"

What did Rosenhan do in the follow up study?

- said he was sending some pseudopatients to another hospital in the nest 3 months

What did he ask the staff to do?

- rate on a 1-10 scale how confident they were that the patients that came were genuine

What ethical issues were addressed? 

- he ensured he kept all the identities of the hospitals and the staff confidential

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Findings and Conclusions

How many pseudopatients were admitted and with what?

- all, 7 with schizophrenia

They were all discharged with what? 

- schizophrenia in remission

How long were the pseudopatients kept in for?

- 7-52 days (mean 19)

How long did the pseudopatients have with a psyciatrist a day?

- on average 6.8 minutes

What did the real patients say?

- "you're not crazy" and "you're a journalist"

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Findings and Conclusions

How many tablets were given and how many were actually swallowed?

- 2100 in total, only 2 swallowed

What was the normal behaviour viewed as by the staff?

- in the light of the 'insane place' "the patients engaged in writing behaviour"

How much time did the staff spend out of the office?

- 11%, 10-11 mean times per shift

What did the staff do when the pseudopatients asked about going home?

- ignored them and have barely any eye contact - 88% just looked away

What did Rosenhan think about the nurse who unbuttoned her shirt infront of male patients?

- she wasnt being seductive, they were invisible to her 

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Findings and Conclusions

How many patients were admitted amd thought to be pseudopatients in the follow up study?

- 41/193

How many pseudopatients did Rosenhan actually send?

- none

What did Rosenhan conclude?

- psychiatrists cannot reliably tell who is sane and not sane

Behaviour is assumed to what? 

- reflect insanity, even when they are sane

A person becomes what once they are labelled mentally ill?

- depersonalised and thus powerless and the label tends to stick forever

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Findings and Conclusions

Why else might the pseudopatients have been labelled insane?

- because the doctors are biased towards type 2 errors i.e it is better to call a healthy person sick, than a sick person healthy

"the mentally ill are societys lepers" (Rosenhan)

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