Rosenhan

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What is the definition of abnormality?
Deviation from the social or statistical norm, failure to function adequately, deviation from ideal mental state.
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What year was this study conducted?
1973
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What classification systems are used?
DSM used in USA, came about in 1952, most recent is DSM-5. ICD used in UK.
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What is the purpose of classification?
Treatment, Prognosis, Cause and it acts as a universal language.
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What are the techniques used in assessing abnormality?
Observation, Interviews, Psychological tests, Physiological tests.
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What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
Gain: delusions, hallucinations, auditory, thought disturbance, lose emotional effect, withdrawal, unkempt appearance.
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Aim?
To test the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are sane and those who are insane.
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Design, method and data?
Field study with participant observation. Both data types.
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What was the hypothesis?
psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are sane and those who are insane.
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Sample?
8 sane people (5 male, 3 female) including a painter, a housewife, 3 psychologists,etc.. Rosenhan took part.
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Procedure of 1st study(1)
Ps attempted to gain admission to 12 different hospitals in 5 US states. Telephoned for appointment and arrived complaining they were hearing voices (voice=unfamiliar and same sex) saying things like empty, hollow& thud.
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Procedure of 1st study (2)
Ps gave false name&job but all other details true. After admitted, Ps stopped symptoms of abnormality, Ps told they had to get out by their own devices by convincing staff they are sane. Ps took observations of treatment of patients.
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Results of 1st study (1)
All but one patient diagnosed with schizophrenia- diagnosis made without one clear symptom of disorder. Remained in hospital from 7-52 days (average=19). Although unexpected by staff, several patients suspected their sanity.
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Results of 1st study (2)
Ps normal behaviour often seen as aspect of illness, e.g. note taking. Ps given total of 2,100 medication tablets, only 2 swallowed. Observation: nurses in offices 90% of time, amount of time spent with each patient was 7mins, or less, a day.
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How were the patients made to feel powerless?
No freedom, no privacy, couldn't initiate conversation with staff, brutal acts to patients
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How were the patients made to feel depersonalised?
Medical records open to all staff, no eye contact, no clothes only gowns, ignored by staff.
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Procedure of 2nd study
Staff of 1 hospital, who knew about 1st study, falsely informed that during the next 3 months 1+ pseudo patients would attempt to be admitted. Staff asked to rate on a 10-point scale each new patient. IV=false info DV=no. of patients staff suspect
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Results of the 2nd study?
Number judged=193. Number of Ps confidently judged y at least 1 staff member=41. Number of Ps suspected by 1 psychiatrist=23. Number of Ps suspected by 1 psychiatrist and one other staff member=19.
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Procedure of the 3rd study?
In 4 hospitals, Ps approached a staff member with a request of "Pardon me, Mr/Mrs/Ds X, could you please tell me when I will be presented at the staff meeting?" and noted down their response.
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Results of the 3rd study
Moves on with head averted: 71% psychiatrists, 88% nurses. Stops and talks: 4% psychiatrists, 0.5% nurses. Compared to Stanford Uni study in which all requests were acknowledged and responded to.
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What is a type 2 error? When was it made?
Calling a healthy person sick. In study 2.
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What was the discharge diagnosis?
Schizophrenia in remission
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What was 'waiting outside the canteen' perceived as?
Oral acquistive syndrome
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Give one example of how staff interpreted the behaviour of Ps? How did the "real patients" interpret this behaviour?
Staff perceived note-taking as "engaging in writing behaviour" but real patients thought they were journalists.
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Strengths of study
High Validity - high EV & covert observation, generalizable, reliable as use same symptoms for each P. Both data types.
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Weaknesses of study
Unethical, Possibility of observer bias-Ps knew aim of study, plus Rosenhan one of them. Ethnocentric-only US.
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Ethics?
Hospital staff deceived-no informed consent, no right to withdraw as unaware. Ps lost right to withdraw once admitted, not free from psychological harm or physical harm.
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Define: Labelling
A defining characteristic of someone - colours other thing that person stands for.
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