The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are mentally stable and those who are mentally unstable.
8 mentally stable people were granted admission into 12 different hospitals. They all told the same story of how they would hear a voice inside their head, it was unclear but often said “empty”, “hollow” and “thud”.
Right after they were admitted, the patients stopped showing any signs of abnormality. They took part in activities and talked to faculty and other patients as they would normally.
None of the psychiatrists ever stopped to say “I think they are getting better” or “they seem absolutely fine now” In fact, nurses and psychiatrists took normal activity such as walking or writing and attempted to represent it as a form of pathological behavior.
For example, staff would point to patients waiting outside the lunchroom as a form of oral-acquisitive syndrome, when really they were just bored and were anticipating their meal.
It’s interesting to note that even though staff didn’t recognize that these people were completely fine, patients recognized that they didn’t seem to have any problems.
This study highlights how powerful labels can be.
Wow…this also potentially bespeaks how the people who are charged with making these patients better are only trying to create terminology and atmosphere that keep them institutionalized.
That’s pretty disturbing.
To anyone saying “well they said they heard voices obviously the doctors are going to look at them with a weary eye”
You missed the point.
They were supposed to detect the patients getting better and instead of being able to tell that, they took any action that the patients performed and totally distorted it and blew it to epic proportions to make them seem completely and utterly abnormal to a point where the patients were institutionalized for months.
Also, sixpenceee, you missed the second part to this experiment - equally chilling, in my opinion. One hospital’s administration was angered by Rosenhan’s experiment, and challenged him to send impostor patients - mentally stable people masquerading as mentally unstable people - to their facilities. Their staff would then turn those pseudopatients away. Long story short, Rosenhan OK’d this part of the experiment. 193 people went to that hospital in that experiment period looking for help. They flagged 41 people as impostors and had doubts about another 42.
Rosenhan sent no one.
The staff of this hospital flagged impostor patients where none had existed.
That’s really worrying…
This is terrifying
photos of sakurajima, the most active volcano in japan, by (click pic) takehito miyatake (previously featured) and martin rietze. volcanic storms can rival the intensity of massive supercell thunderstorms, but the source of the charge responsible for this phenomenon remains hotly debated.
in the kind of storm clouds that generate conventional lightning, ice particles and soft hail collide, building up positive and negative charges, respectively. they separate into layers, and the charge builds up until the electric field is high enough to trigger lightning.
but the specific mechanism by which particles of differing charges are separated in the ash cloud is still unknown. lightning has been observed between the eruption plume and the volcano right at the start of an eruption, suggesting that there are processes that occur inside the volcano to lead to charge separation.
volcanic lightning could yield clues about the earth’s geological past, and could answer questions about the beginning of life on our planet. volcanic lightning could have been the essential spark that converted water, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane molecules present on a primeval earth into amino acids, the building blocks of life.
(see also: previous volcanology posts)