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Evaluation of Rosenhans Study, Sane in Insane Places

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    Genralisabiltiy, the study was not very genralisable, it was a study that took place I the USA and social norms there could be very different to a lot of other coutures around the world. Also the sample although fairly varied culturally for its size (it had a painter and housewife alongside 3 psychologists and others) it was very small, with 8 participants, and only 7 of these being put into the insertitution.

    Reliability, The study was somewhat reliable, the data was collect first hand by the participants, some of which may not be as qualified as other, for example one of the psychologists may be better at filling out data then a painter, as a psychologist would know specific things to note down or test within the institution, however opeserations and test for within the institution were fairly basic EG. Recording the repose of a nurse or orderly when asked a basic question, this would require little to no skill to perform.

    Application, in counties were metal health is covered by the tax payer it could help to find thoughts who really need help and fund there treatment but know when someone does not require treatment, the study also could help with the problem of labelling someone with a metal health disorder which could affect them negatively latter in life( EG. Hurting job prospects)

    Validity, the study was organised by a well regarded psychologist, and carry out by well brief participants, the studies aim was to the reliability of psychiatrists being able to diagnose a sane person sane, and an insane person insane, it achieved the aim as can be seen in the results of 7/8 sane participant being declared insane. Ethics, the study is not very ethically sound.

    Deception, the hospital staff (with the exception of 2 members of staff) had no idea about the experiment, and were obviously deceived as they only were told following the study and even then they were told more pseudo patients would come and none did! Right to withdraw, this would of been hard for the participants to do because they had been committed to a metal hospital which would of meant them admitting about the study taking place a blowing the whole thing to even have a chanse at being released, saying about the study could just be seen as another symptom for illness by the hospital staff. Informed consent, all the 8 participants gave there informed consent they were all above the age of 18, mentally sane, and physically fit.

    Protecting the participants for psychological or physical harm, the participants were not protected because there would have been no way to protect them once inside the hospital. The treatment of hospital staff could have affected their mental state. And being around genuinely mentally ill people could of cause harm to them physically. However some sets were taken to reduce harms, for example the participants were told not to take any drugs given to them by hospital staff so the participants flushed them down the toilet.

    Confidentiality, although the names and addresses were keep confidential, there carriers were not for example one of the participants was a grad student and another 3 were psychologists, you would only need to look into Roseenhans circle of friends and/or work colleges of the time to have a fair chance of finding them. The participants also gave the hospital a fake identity. Rosenhan wanted to test whether or not psychiatrists could tell the different between someone sane and someone insane. Rosenhan called 12 hospitals requesting an immediate meeting with a patient.

    The study started with 8 sane participants. They had an assessment at a metal institution where they reported a same sex voice saying words such as “thud” and other noise words. 7 out of the 8 participants were admitted to the hospitals; at the point of being admittined they stopped all symptoms of mental illness. Once in they became the pseudo patients.

    Their normal behaviours such as writing and arriving early of lunch were listed in their reports as symptoms of their mental illness, it also looked at the treatment of patients, when approaching a nurse or orderly only 2% stopped for a chat, and the rest only gave eye contact or ignored them completely. All pseudo patients disliked the experience and wanted an immediate discharge, none were detected by hospital stuff, but some patients suspected them of not having a legitimate illness the participant stay between 7 and 52 days before being released.

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