Rosenhan's Study

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Aim

To test the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are sane and people who are insane. 

Research Method

Field study using participant observation in a naturalistic environment. 12 psychiatric hospitals

Volunteers

8 pseudo patients (a Psychology graduate student in his 20s, 3 psychologists, a paeditrician, a psychiatrist - Rosenhan himself, a painter, and a 'housewife'. 

Part 1

Procedure

Pseudo patients telephoned for appointment, arrived at admissions office complaining that they could hear voices. The voice includes words such as 'empty', 'hollow', 'thud'. 7 were diagnosed with schizophrenia, and 1 with bipolar disorder. The diagnosis were without any clear symptoms. When asked how they were feeling by staff, they reported that they were fine and no longer experienced symptoms. 

Results

Type 2 errors were made by doctors, as they admitted the patients when they're not really ill. Pseudo patients remained in hospital for 7-52 days (average 19 days), and

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