On Being Sane in Insane Places

  title={On Being Sane in Insane Places},
  author={David L. Rosenhan},
  pages={250 - 258}
It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals. The hospital itself imposes a special environment in which the meanings of behavior can easily be misunderstood. The consequences to patients hospitalized in such an environment—the powerlessness, depersonalization, segregation, mortification, and self-labeling—seem undoubtedly countertherapeutic. I do not, even now, understand this problem well enough to perceive solutions. But two matters seem to have… Expand
On being sane in insane places
Two matters seem to have some promise, one of which concerns the proliferation of community mental health facilities, and the need to increase the sensitivity of mental health workers and researchers to the Catch 22 position of psychiatric patients. Expand
"On being sane in insane places": a comment from England.
  • S. Crown
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of abnormal psychology
  • 1975
Three aspects of Rosenhan's diagnostic challenge are commented on. First, psychiatric diagnosis, particularly of schizophrenia , is culture bound rather than absolute and depends on the interactionExpand
On treating the insane in sane places.
The results of a longitudinal research study designed to assess the viability of the private home as an alternative to hospitalization are presented, particularly as they bear on the negative effects of hospitalization as described by Rosenhan. Expand
Boundaries of Psychiatry
  • R. Mulder
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Perspectives in biology and medicine
  • 1992
Since the First World War much psychiatric practice has shifted from madness to other forms of behavioral disturbance and personal distress, and it is this relatively new social vocation of psychiatry that will be focussed on. Expand
Are conflicts of interests endemic to psychiatric consultation?
This article involved three rather provocative cases where patients and their physicians came to loggerheads regarding very critical moral or ethical issues, and the treating physicians resorted to psychiatric consultation as a means to resolve morally troublesome problems. Expand
Caretakers and the rights of the insane : an historical sociology.
This research suggests that 'caretakers' might be a more suitable title for such workers with the insane, and shows that both those who cared for the insane and the insane themselves have been subjected to changes brought about by mental health legislation since 1890. Expand
The permeable institution: an ethnographic study of three acute psychiatric wards in London.
Analysts may find the permeable institution a more helpful reference point or ideal type against which to examine and compare empirical cases and conceptualise a continuum of institutional permeability with total and permeable institutions at each extreme. Expand
DSM and the Shaping of Depression
A received opinion in medical literature holds that Asians are prone to present psychiatric problems as physical complaints—depression as backache. Implying as it does that Asians lack a properExpand
Lunatics and Asylums
The history of the mental illness services is dominated by reformers and paid professionals — the keepers, nurses, psychiatrists, etc. Rarely is the voice of the ‘lunatic’ heard except through theExpand
Am I delusional
Background Delusions are a significant feature of mental illnesses and can occur in many clinical conditions (Maher, 2001) yet the standard clinical definition (American Psychiatric Association.Expand


Symptoms in relation to psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
This investigation was to determine whether, within the broad groups of psychoneurotic, depressive, and schizophrenic patients, those showing a good therapeutic response and those show a poor one differed to a statistically significant degree in their psychiatric symptomatology prior to treatment. Expand
Rejection: A Possible Consequence of Seeking Help for Mental Disorders
The effects of seeking help for problems of disturbed behavior are examined to determine the extent to which attidudes toward an individual exhibiting symptoms of mental illness are predicated onExpand
The reliability of psychiatric diagnosis.
  • N. Kreitman
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • The Journal of mental science
  • 1961
No observation can be incorporated satisfactorily in a body of knowledge unless its reliability, however defined, is also known. In psychiatry, the concept of reliability has in great measure beenExpand
Classification of the behavior disorders.
  • J. Zubin
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Annual review of psychology
  • 1967
An essential step for clarifying a field that is as confused as the clas­ sification of behavior disorders is to provide some specific definitions for the terms to be used and to define the goals, the universe of discourse, and the subcategories according to which classification is made. Expand
Being mentally ill : a sociological theory
Part 1 Introduction: labelling theory and biopsychiatry -reviewing the record individual and social systems in deviance. Part 2 Theory: social control as a system residual deviance the socialExpand
Societal reaction as an explanation of mental illness: an evaluation.
  • W. Gove
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • American sociological review
  • 1970
The adolescent in his group in its setting and an event-structure approach to social power and to the problem of power comparability are studied. Expand
Reactions to Deviance: A Critical Assessment
  • E. Schur
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • American Journal of Sociology
  • 1969
A critical analysis is presented of that recent body of work which focuses attention on social reactions as key determinants of deviant behavior and deviance situations, and its strong grounding in traditional sociological perspectives suggests that it has great promise in advancing theoretical integration in the area of deviance analysis. Expand
The Divided Self: A Study of Sanity and Madness
OVER the past few years, there have appeared a number of books dealing with tumours of various regions and organs. Few have been able to draw from such a wealth of clinical material as Coley of theExpand
Pertinent systematic studies of the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis were critically examined. It was pointed out that each of these studies presented certain methodological problems which madeExpand
Outsiders Studies in the Sociology of Deviance.
This 1966 paperback edition of a publication which first appeared in 1963 has by now been widely reviewed as a worthy contribution to the sociological study of deviant behavior. Its currentExpand