Stanford prof who changed America with one study was also a liar

Stanford psychology and law professor David Rosenhan could transfix an audience in a crowded lecture hall with just a few words.

https://nypost.com/2019/11/02/stanford-professor-who-changed-america-with-just-one-study-was-also-a-liar/

It was the era of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and movies like “Shock Corridor” and “The Snake Pit.” Rosenhan — who was both an insider who studied abnormal psychology, and an outsider who was a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist — was the perfect person to pull back the curtain on psychiatry’s secrets.

His research work was also groundbreaking. In 1973, Rosenhan published the paper “On Being Sane in Insane Places” in the prestigious journal Science, and it was a sensation. The study, in which eight healthy volunteers went undercover as “pseudopatients” in 12 psychiatric hospitals across the country, discovered harrowing conditions that led to national outrage. His findings helped expedite the widespread closure of psychiatric institutions across the country, changing mental health care in the US forever.

Rosenhan distinguished himself at Stanford with his 1973 paper “On Being Sane in Insane Places” in the prestigious journal Science, research that helped spur the closure of mental hospitals nationwide.

“On Being Sane in Insane Places,” Rosenhan never again published any studies on psychiatric hospitalization, even though this subject made him an international success.

Rosenhan, I began to realize, may have been the ultimate unreliable narrator. It’s possible some pseudopatients he mentioned in his study never existed at all.  – Susannah Cahalan, author of “The Great Pretender,” on famed psychology professor David Rosenhan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rosenhan

Rosenhan’s medical record during his undercover stay at Haverford found that he had not, as he had written in his published paper, only exhibited one symptom of “thud, empty, hollow.” Instead, he had told doctors that he put a “copper pot” up to his ears to drown out the noises and that he had been suicidal. This was a far more severe — and legitimately concerning — description of his illness than he had portrayed in his paper.

Rosenhan’s eight healthy pseudopatients allegedly each followed the same script to gain admittance to psychiatric hospitals around the country.

“It all started out as a dare,” Rosenhan told a local newspaper. “I was teaching psychology at Swarthmore College, and my students were saying that the course was too conceptual and abstract. So I said, ‘OK, if you really want to know what mental patients are like, become mental patients.’ ”

Soon after that, Rosenhan went undercover for nine days at Haverford State Hospital in Haverford, Pa., in February 1969. His diary and book describe a host of indignities: soiled bathrooms without doors, inedible food, sheer boredom and ennui, rank disregard by the staff and doctors. Rosenhan even witnessed an attendant sexually assault one of the more disturbed patients. The only time Rosenhan was truly “seen” as a human by the staff was when an attendant mistook him for a doctor.

The experience was harrowing. After nine days, he pushed for a release and made sure that his undergraduate students — who were planning to follow him as undercover patients into the hospital — would not be allowed to go. Colleagues described a shaken, changed man after his experience.

The only other participant I discovered, Harry Lando, had a vastly different take. Lando had summed up his 19-day hospitalization at the US Public Health Service Hospital in San Francisco in one word: “positive.”

https://nypost.com/2019/11/02/stanford-professor-who-changed-america-with-just-one-study-was-also-a-liar

Algorythms are examples of code that fits our biases also. They expose the problems of society, coded by fallible bros who decide what to code in and choose what leave out. CRAP ALL CRAP.

 

The first pseudopatient — “David Lurie” in his notes — was very clearly Rosenhan himself.

“It all started out as a dare,” Rosenhan told a local newspaper. “I was teaching psychology at Swarthmore College, and my students were saying that the course was too conceptual and abstract. So I said, ‘OK, if you really want to know what mental patients are like, become mental patients.’ ”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rosenhan

Soon after that, Rosenhan went undercover for nine days at Haverford State Hospital in Haverford, Pa., in February 1969. His diary and book describe a host of indignities: soiled bathrooms without doors, inedible food, sheer boredom and ennui, rank disregard by the staff and doctors. Rosenhan even witnessed an attendant sexually assault one of the more disturbed patients. The only time Rosenhan was truly “seen” as a human by the staff was when an attendant mistook him for a doctor.

Pennsylvania closed Haverford State Hospital

NOW

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