Rosenhan (clinical)

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What was the aim?
He aimed to explore issues with defining abnormality and normality and specifically any reliability issues with diagnosing mental health using the DSM.
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how many pseudo-patients?
8 (5 men and 3 women): all clinically sane
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how many mental institutions did they go to complaining of a symptom?
12 in total
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what symptom did they all complain of?
repeatedly hearing one of the following words: empty, hollow, thud
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how many of the pseudo-patients were admitted to the hospital and with what diagnosis?
all 8. 7/8 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia
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what happened to their behaviour when they arrived at the hospital?
they stopped complaining of the symptom and behaved as normal
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what were their two tasks once they were admitted?
to be released from the hospital by convincing the staff that they were sane and to keep a journal of the way they were treated there
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what were the 4 results
1)7/8 released with 'schizophrenia in remission' 2)average of 19 days to be released. 7-52 3)all behaviour was interpreted in light of the diagnosis e.g. writing behaviour 4)other patients were suspicious of the pseudo-patients but the staff were not
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what was the follow-up study?
informed a teaching hospital of his work and said pseudo-patients would try to gain admittance there over a 3 month period. in fact, he sent none. they identified 41 as being pseudo-patients.
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what did Rosenhan conclude?
that psychiatrists cannot reliably distinguish the sane and the insane and that diagnosis made using the DSM is problematic
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generalisability
old and new, short staffed and normal hospitals used. just in USA: ethnocentrism
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reliability
8 pseudo-patients for 12 hospitals so repeated. control of the symptom that was displayed.
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applicability
done 30 years ago and so may no longer be applicable to modern day diagnosis. applied to creation of the DSM 4
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validity
pseudo-patients showed valid behaviour apart from the one symptom: this validity seen in that the other patients questioned the diagnosis of the pseudo-patients. real staff and real psychiatrists.
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ethics
not aware partaking in the experiment so no consent nor right to withdraw. psychological harm in that they may now doubt their profession and their ability.
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Card 2

Front

how many pseudo-patients?

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8 (5 men and 3 women): all clinically sane

Card 3

Front

how many mental institutions did they go to complaining of a symptom?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

what symptom did they all complain of?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

how many of the pseudo-patients were admitted to the hospital and with what diagnosis?

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