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On being sane in insane places

  1. Which method is used in this study? How do you know?

The method used in this study is participant observation with ‘participant as observer’. I know because on page 184 in the first paragraph there is a sentence that says, “Although they had come to the hospital as participant observers…” in reference to the pseudopatients. The author, Rosenhan also admits to being the first sane patient that was admitted in a psychiatric hospital.

  1. There are two deceptions in this study. The first one was the change in names and occupation of the participants. The second one was the alert to psychiatric hospitals that the pseudopatients would try to regain admission in the hospitals once more.
  2. Both deceptions were necessary. The first deception was necessary in order to protect the participants in the future because psychiatric labels follow a patient even after they have been discharged. The second deception was necessary in order to observe if the institution staff would do the diagnosis any different. This deception was supposed to expose more information on the operation of such facilities.
  3. If I were a member of the IRB, I would have approved this study because it involves the rights of human beings; most of which are being violated and the human life are not handled with the needed care. The study exposes malpractices in the health sector and something needs to be done to improve the current situation.
  4. The weaknesses in the study are few. The major one is that although the study mentions all the shortcomings of the hospital, they do not provide recommendations on how to improve the situation. The study also lacks a detailed limitations page or the provision of what future researchers should consider while in the field.On being sane in insane places