On being sane in insane places

@article{Rosenhan1973OnBS,
  title={On being sane in insane places},
  author={David L. Rosenhan},
  journal={Clinical Social Work Journal},
  year={1973},
  volume={2},
  pages={237-256}
}
  • D. Rosenhan
  • Published 19 January 1973
  • Psychology
  • Clinical Social Work Journal
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… 

On being sane in insane places: A supplemental report

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Rosenhan (1973) reported controversial data for eight pseudopatients who deliberately feigned symptoms of psychosis and were admitted to a total of 12 psychiatric institutions, concluded that "sanity" and "insanity" cannot be distinguished within the context of the psychiatric hospital, and argued that psychiatric labeling is in itself a pernicious process and should be avoided.

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