Rosenhan's study; Experiment 1

Rosenhan's study; Experiment 1

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  • Rosenhan's study Experiment 1
  • I'm fine.
  • In the first experiment, 8 sane people attempted to gain admission to 12 different hospitals in 5 different states of America.
  • They made an appointment at one of the hospitals and said they were hearing voices. They said these voices were unfamiliar, of the same sex as the patient and saying 'empty', 'hollow' and 'thud'.  The participants kept their life history the same, but not their name or job, when giving the clinic information.
  • When am I likely to get discharged?
  • After they were admitted to the hospital, the pseudo patients stopped showing any symptoms of abnormality. They spoke to staff and patients as they normally would, and took part in ward activities. When asked how they were they said they were fine and no longer experiencing any symptoms.
  • She's not abnormal at all!
  • She can't be a patient, she must be a Journalist or a Professor, here to research the hospital.
  • The pseudo patients spent their time making notes about their observations. They did it secretly at first, but when no one seemed to notice or care, they did it more openly.
  • In 4 of the hospitals the pseudo patients would approach the hospital and ask polite questions such as 'When am I likely to be discharged?'
  • All but one of the patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia when they entered, and when they left they were all discharged with the diagnosis of 'Schizophrenia in remission'. None of the pseudo patients were detected as frauds by the staff, however the other patients grew suspicious over time.
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