Eight pseudo-patients were used in this study. They were a varied group, with professions ranging from psychologists to a painter and housewife. There were 3 women and 5 men. They falsified name, vocation and employment.
After calling the hospital for an appointment, the pseudo patient arrived at the admissions office complaining of hearing voices. When asked what the voices said, he/she replied that they were often unclear, but could tell they said 'empty', 'hollow' and 'thud.' They chose these words because they were alleged to have arisen from the painful concerns about the meaningfulness of one's life. It is as if the hallucinating person was saying 'my life is empty and hollow.'
Once admitted to the psychiatric ward, the patient stopped simulating symptoms of abnormality, although some couldn't help displaying signs of nervousness as they didn't believe they would be admitted…