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A / AS Psychology.. Key Studies Abnormal Psychology Key study D L Rosenhan (1973)

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Presentation on theme: "A / AS Psychology.. Key Studies Abnormal Psychology Key study D L Rosenhan (1973)"— Presentation transcript:

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2 A / AS Psychology.. Key Studies Abnormal Psychology Key study D L Rosenhan (1973)

3 On being sane in insane places!

4 The Question……. If sanity and insanity exist How shall we recognise them?

5 Specifically……. Do the characteristics of abnormality reside in the patients? or In the environments in which they are observed? –D–Does madness lie in the eye of the observer?

6 Before we begin……. 1List two behaviours that YOU consider to be a sign of psychological abnormality 2Write down why you think each of these behaviours is abnormal

7 Some definitions of abnormality Stratton & Hayes (1993).. Abnormality IS Behaviour which deviates from the norm –m–most people dont behave that way Behaviour which does not conform to social demands –m–most people dont like that behaviour Behaviour which is maladaptive or painful to the individual –i–its not normal to harm yourself

8 Look at your examples: Did your examples fall into those three categories? Can you think of any other useful definitions of abnormality?

9 What was Rosenhans interest? How reliable are diagnoses of abnormality?

10 The astonishing study……….. On being sane in insane places…... D L Rosenhan (1973) What did he do? Who were involved?

11 The brave volunteers……. EIGHT sane people! –one graduate student –three psychologists –a paediatrician –a painter –Housewive –Psychiatrist

12 What did they DO? The procedure…………………….. telephoned 12 psychiatric hospitals for urgent appointment (in five USA states) arrived at admissions gave false name and address gave other life details correctly

13 What else did they do? complained of hearing unclear voices … saying empty, hollow, thud Said the voice was unfamiliar, but was same sex as themselves –Simulated existential crisis –Who am I, whats it all for?

14 What happened? ……….. All were admitted to hospital All but one were diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia Once admitted the pseudo-patients stopped simulating ANY symptoms Took part in ward activities

15 What happened on the wards? The pseudo-patients were never detected All pseudo-patients wished to be discharged immediately BUT - they waited until they were diagnosed as fit to be discharged

16 How did the ward staff see them? Normal behaviour was misinterpreted Writing notes was described as - –The patient engaged in writing behaviour Arriving early for lunch described as –oral acquisitive syndrome –Behaviour distorted to fit in with theory

17 The pseudo-patients observations… If they approached staff with simple request (NURSES & ATTENDANTS) 88% ignored them –(walked away with head averted) –10% made eye contact –2% stopped for a chat (1283 attempts)

18 The pseudo-patients observations… If they approached staff with simple request (PSYCHIATRISTS) 71% ignored them –(walked away with head averted) –23% made eye contact –2% stopped for a chat (185 attempts)

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20 How long did they stay in hospital? The shortest stay was 7 days The longest stay was 52 days The average stay was 19 days –They had agreed to stay until they convinced the staff they were sane!!

21 Were they treated in the same way as normal patients... Given total of 2100 medication tablets –they flushed them down the loos –Noted that other patients did the same and that this was ignored as long as patients behaved themselves !!

22 What sorts of records did they keep …….? Nurses stayed in ward offices 90% of time Each real patient spent less than 7 minutes per day with psychiatric staff

23 Perhaps they behaved abnormally Pseudo-patients visitors detected No serious behavioural consequences DID ANYONE SUSPECT?

24 What about the REAL patients? 35 out of 118 patients voiced their suspicions

25 On release ………………... The pseudo-patients were diagnosed as Schizophrenia IN REMISSION

26 Rosenhan The follow up study…………….. A teaching & research hospital was told of the first study and warned that … Over the next three months ONE OR MORE pseudo-patient would attempt to be admitted

27 What happened……….? Staff members rated new patients on scale as how likely to be a fraud 193 patients assessed 41 rated as a pseudo-patient (by staff) 23 rated as pseudo-patient (by psychiatrist) 19 rated as pseudo-patient (by both)

28 How many of these SUSPECTS were pseudo-patients?……... NONE No pseudo-patients were sent –Staff were rating their regular intake

29 What did Rosenhan conclude? Remember.. His question was … Do the characteristics of abnormality reside in the patients? or In the environments in which they are observed? –Does madness lie in the eye of the observer

30 Rosenhans conclusion….. It is clear that we are unable to distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals –In the first study –We are unable to detect sanity –In the follow up study –We are unable to detect insanity

31 Rosenhans study highlighted... The depersonalisation and powerlessness of patients in psychiatric hospitals That behaviour is interpreted according to expectations of staff and that these expectations are created by the labels SANITY & INSANITY

32 Another Rosenhan note…….. The pseudo-patients described their stay in the hospitals as a negative experience This is not to say that REAL patients have similar experiences Real patients do not know the diagnosis is false & are NOT pretending –(Remember Zimbardo)

33 Questions YOU should be able to answer... Methodology - This was a participant observation Who were the OTHER participants? Was this study ethical? If not why not?

34 Questions YOU should be able to answer……. Why might the reports of the pseudo- patients have been unreliable?

35 Look back at your list of abnormal behaviour ……... How can we devise some general rules to describe NORMAL and ABNORMAL behaviour

36 Rosenhan ….. YOU must read this study up It is one of the most influential studies in Abnormal Psychology If there are such things as SANITY and INSANITY HOW SHALL WE KNOW THEM?

37 On being sane in insane places... D L Rosenhan (1973) THE END


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