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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976 Apr;33(4):459-70.

More on pseudoscience in science and the case for psychiatric diagnosis. A critique of D.L. Rosenhan's "On Being Sane in Insane Places" and "The Contestual Nature of Psychiatric Diagnosis".


Rosenhan's 1973 article, "On Being Sane in Insane Places," was pseudoscience presented as science. Just as his pseudopatients were diagnosed at discharge as having "schizophrenia in remission", so a careful examination of this study's methods, results, and conclusions leads to a diagnosis of "logic in remission." Rosenhan's study proves that pseudopatients are not detected by psychiatrists as having simulated signs of mental illness and that the implementation of certain invalid research designs can make psychiatrists appear foolish. These rather unremarkable findings are irrelevant to the real problems of the reliability and validity of psychiatric diagnosis and only serve to obscure them. A correct interpretation of his own data contradicts his conclusions. There are purposes to psychiatric diagnosis that Rosenhan's article ignores. His more recent suggestion that certain requirements be met prior to the adoption of a new psychiatric classification system is unrealistic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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