Sane In Insane Places

1488 Words6 Pages
The present essay will take into account the opinionated discussion on the issues of the psychiatric reliability and validity of the classification of mental disorders including labelling individuals with diagnosis and its effects, approaches such as DSM II that are used in order to asses this and the ideas of development and solutions on how DSM II can be improved as a medical approach. This material will be a critical evaluation of the research article “On being sane in insane places” by David L. Rosenhan (1973). As known, for a medical approach that is used as a diagnostic tool, it should fulfil its purpose and correctly diagnose an individual who is suffering from a mental disorder, since reliability and validity are two very essential…show more content…
The deception of professional hospital staff is an issue that breaches many ethical guidelines, which would not be accepted by the BPS today. The way they were misled into the whole situation with the patients must have put the patients themselves into highly uncomfortable positions during the research. However Rosenhan did not conceal information on any of the hospital staff and had attempted to rid of any clues which may have led to their identification and so maintained their confidentiality. The real debate however is does this study overrule the embarrassment to the professionals and the stress occurred to the…show more content…
Being a field experiment, this study was fairly ecologically valid and still was able to control many variables throughout the study for example the behaviour of the pseudo patients, but not all as it was conducted in a natural environment. These variables however only worked under eight participants which was an extremely small sample size to use, as stated by Anthony Clare that Rosenhan was “theorising in the absence of sufficient date”. This can raise the question as to whether the sudden diagnosis of all participants was not by chance. The ranges of hospitals used in the study were in different states of the USA and were all of unique kinds with different conditions which allowed the research results to be generalised to and representative of all situations. Rosenhan also kept the identification of these hospitals private as he believed it would breach their confidentiality, however this prohibits anyone from challenging Rosenhan’s results and even confronting the individuals carrying out incorrect behaviours and so prevents his research from being deemed fully reliable or unreliable, leaving validity issues at
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