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Archive for July 9th, 2010

The Rosenhan Experiment fools the experts…

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The Rosenhan experiment was a famous experiment into the validity of psychiatric diagnosis conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan in 1973. It was published in the journal Science under the title “On being sane in insane places.”[1] The study is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis.[2]
Rosenhan’s study was done in two parts. The first part involved the use of healthy associates or “pseudopatients” who briefly simulated auditory hallucinations in an attempt to gain admission to 12 different psychiatric hospitals in five different states in various locations in the United States. All were admitted and diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. After admission, the pseudopatients acted normally and told staff that they felt fine and had not experienced any more hallucinations. Hospital staff failed to detect a single pseudopatient, and instead believed that all of the pseudopatients exhibited symptoms of ongoing mental illness. Several were confined for months. All were forced to admit to having a mental illness and agree to take antipsychotic drugs as a condition of their release.
The second part involved asking staff at a psychiatric hospital to detect non-existent “fake” patients. The staff falsely identified large numbers of genuine patients as impostors.
The study concluded, “It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals” and also illustrated the dangers of depersonalization and labeling in psychiatric institutions. It suggested that the use of community mental health facilities which concentrated on specific problems and behaviors rather than psychiatric labels might be a solution and recommended education to make psychiatric workers more aware of the social psychology of their facilities. 
Rosenhan experiment


Are we SURE we want our Health and Human Services to be Psychology-Driven?  I already blogged on Wade  Horn:

Wade F. Horn is an American psychologist who received unanimous confirmation (under President George W. Bush) in 2001 as the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Before his resignation on April 1, 2007, he oversaw the function of the Administration For Children and Families, an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He also served under President George H. W. Bush as Commissioner of Children, Youth, and Families within the Administration For Children and Families.

Horn represents a key advocate for the re-envisioning and re-vising of the Federal Head Start program. A key proponent for family involvement in education, Horn served as president of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Horn is also a strong advocate for “abstinence education.”

He received his Ph.D. in 1981 from Southern Illinois University. He served as an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and was an affiliate scholar at the right-wing think tank, The Hudson Institute.

Secretary Leavitt praised Wade Horn for his leadership, citing his actions to “significantly improved the lives of vulnerable children and strengthened the American family as he led the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) for the past six years.”

He continued, “Under Wade’s leadership, we passed and implemented the next chapter of welfare reform, launched the first-ever healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood grants, began outreach to victims of human trafficking, helped increase the number of adoptions in America, connected children of prisoners with mentors, and created a strong partnership with faith-based organizations.”


And I think I mentioned “Wade Horn Cashes Out..”

AllGov – Department of Health and Human Services – Administration

Wade Horn cashes out: Former Department of Health and Human services official signs on as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting LLP after questions are


The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a “principal operating division” of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).ACF oversees and finances social and economic programs for vulnerable children and families, designed to “help them and develop toward a more independent, self-reliant life.” Targeted groups include Native Americans, persons with developmental disabilities, refugees and legalized aliens. Programs are carried out by state, county, city and tribal governments, as well as public and private local agencies. Critics argue that ACF, a relatively new administration, has been deployed as a forum to push the Bush Administration’s more conservative initiatives – funneling money to (discredited) abstinence-only programs and marriage promotion grants.


The Department of Health and Human Services created the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as a principal operating division in 1991. The new Administration merged employees and functions of the Family Support Administration (FSA) and the Office of Human Development Services (OHDS).

How about WADE HORN? 1994, NFI founded.

(review:  1991, ACF started.  1994, NFI founded and VAWA passed.  )

Wade Horn
Before joining the ACF as Secretary in July 2001, Wade Horn founded and ran the conservative National Fatherhood Initiative in 1994 with funding from the Religious Right. At ACF he oversaw a mélange of programs highly palatable to the religious right and social conservatives – most notably abstinence-only education (he extended chastity strategy to adults) but also harmful and discriminatory welfare reform and the promotion of (exclusively heterosexual) marriage and traditional values as a means/in place of social and economic development – even suggesting that Headstart should be limited to children of married couples. He awarded his organization, the National Fatherhood Initiative, with a “capacities-building” grant of just under a million dollars from…

And then he began working as Secretary for  HHS/ACF 2001-2007

Under former Secretary Wade Horn (2001-2007) in particular, the ACF promoted policies that appear to pander to the religious right and socially conservative elements – like marriage promotion for poor women as an anti-poverty strategy, reduced access to higher education for welfare recipients (due to a “work-first” mandate), a willfully ignorant chastity strategy for both youth and (more on site, above..)
[uncovering of which funding MAY have led to him cashing out, I DNR at this point…]

In 1995 President Clinton is all “fatherhood” also, as was Gore.  At this time, as we know, Congress, like the U.S. population is* around 50% female.  *(yeah, right)


I told you, Mythology, Theology, Psychology, Constitution Goodbye…  Justice good bye.  Due process, Good bye.  Out-come based litigation, hello.  Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Hello.  Hello also renowed (psychologist) Warren Farrell, reformed feminist and, well, see his Penthouse article.  Welcome, Gardner-theology. . . . .


So, this ROSENHAN experiment is, well, comic relief. 

The Professional Mental Health Experts (not even psychologists, who are driving the HHS and federal funding programs, but Psychiatrists, who are trained to dispense medication for mental health problems) can’t tell pseudopatients from real ones, then (when told they were fooled) go on to call real ones Pseudo.  The volunteers had considerable trouble getting OUT once committed incognito for purposes of these 1973 controlled experiments in mental health diagnoses!

PseudoPatients fool Mental Health Experts, then can’t get out… (1973, Rosenhan Experiment)

Responsible Fatherhood and (ir)Responsible Social Policy — MY informal findings… (my blog of 03/26/2010, a sort of free-for all, covering Is Psychology Science, Center for Policy Research, a bit of Warren Farrell, the artificial womb, and a few other topics. 


Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

July 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm

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