Text of Famous Psychological Experiments.. David ROSENHAN (1929-2012) Being sane in insane places...
Famous Psychological Experiments.
David ROSENHAN (1929-2012) Being sane in insane places On Being Sane in Insane Places, Science, 1973 The Anti-psychiatric movement (T.Szasz: The Myth of Mental Illness), the end of the Vietnam war Psychiatrist title x actual competence to distinguish insanity from sanity Our perception of the world - a matter of perspective (being overwhelmed by our own subjectivity) Professor of Law and Psychiatry at Stanford University
Design of the experiment Eight volunteers 3 women, 5 men (3 psychologists, psychiatrist, pediatrician, student, painter, and a housewife) One month (October 1972) Every single subject at a different psychiatric hospital (a wide array of clinic standards) At the entry examination: False name and occupation Auditory hallucinations voice saying Thud, Empty and Hollow No other referred symptoms After the admission immediately reporting the voice has disappeared and everything feels fine
The experiment Clear instructions on how to report the symptoms Limiting personal hygiene (creating the shady impression), training how to avoid swallowing the pills Fear of the medications, fear of getting raped Shock upon experiencing the treatment by the psychiatric staff the invisible Violent behavior by some of the staff members Sanity of the pseudopatiens often recognized by the fellow patients instead of the staff
The procedure of the experiment Diagnosis on admission (7x schizophrenia and 1x bipolar affective disorder) Diagnosis on release: illness in remission Duration of the hospitalization 7 52 days; 19 days on average The significance of the label - real information evaluated through the bias of the anticipated diagnosis
Criticism Large response defense of biological psychiatry Robert Spitzer (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1975) Methodology and research conclusion, problems of verification One hospital administration challenged Rosenhan to send pseudopatients to its facility, whom its staff would then detect. Rosenhan agreed and in the following weeks out of 193 new patients the staff identified 41 as potential pseudopatients - Rosenhan had sent no one to the hospital.
Conclusion Debate on the scientific rigor of psychiatric diagnosis and psychiatry as a discipline itself An impulse to update the DSM A question of the societal pressure on the identification of mental illnesses. The quality of the psychiatric care Later similar experiments (Slater in 80s no hospitalizations, more welcoming approach, antipsychotics, eventually AD, most frequent dgn. psychotic depression)
Context Rozenthal, Jacobson (1966) The expectation effect A fictitious test a scholar aptitude tests of the children the result presented to the teachers as a prediction of the future progress of the students After one year, the students randomly selected as the talented ones improved in the school subjects as well as, surprisingly, the IQ tests. A self-fulfilling prophecy a social projection, that has an influence on the reality strong enough to eventually become the truth (the attitude towards oneself, the evaluation of the others, expectancies of the future ) The Golem effect, the Pygmalion effect
Elisabeth LOFTUS (born 1944) False memories A professor at the Washington University (as well as various other universities) Cognitive psychology, psychology of the memory Involved in the forensic psychology Many internationally recognized experiments as well as honorary degrees Several hateful reactions (had to hire personal bodyguards) Tackled the issue of child abuse
Original experiments A large amount of experimental work on the inaccuracy of memories The memory is suggestible The influence of the question Yellow light on the traffic lights A man with a beard A speed of the car, the broken glass
How I got lost The design of the experiment The creation of an experimental memory, that would remind the participant of the trauma without having a traumatic effect in itself 24 participants each is assigned a notebook containing the of three true stories from their childhood (the stories were rewritten in accordance with the reports of their relatives) and one fictitious story (created with the cooperation of the relatives) about getting lost in a shopping centre just one article long. The participant enters the lab, reads the notebook and then is supposed to add their own memories if they didnt remember a particular story, theyd just write that they dont remember Participants are made to repeatedly tell their childhood stories after a certain time interval
The results 25% participants claimed to remember the memory of getting lost in a shopping centre Including details that the participants made up themselves (but trusted them as if those were the real memories) Increase of the details as the time interval grew longer (after two days, a week, several weeks) confabulation The soft towels, the blinking light bulbs, the genre of music, an old balding man wearing a blue flannel jacket and glasses
The witness problematic Deconstruction of some of the testimonies of child abuse Influence of the context including some types of the psychotherapy Deconstruction of the concept of the supression A memory suppressed for many years that suddenly emerges with many vivid details included Controversy: you make the victims seem as the liars The iniciative for the defense of parents accused of child abuse, as well as other cases of accusations
J.DARLEY(born 1938) B.LATAN(born1937) The Bystander effect Social psychology The bystander effect - the more people are in proximity to a situation potentially dangerous to someone else, the less likely they are to intervene to help the said person in danger The reason for this is presumed to be the idea that the person can rely on the others to help or otherwise take care of the situation Darley, J. M. & Latan, B., 1968, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The case of Kitty Genovese A 28 year old woman murdered on 13.3.1964 in Queens, New York early in the morning Assaulted and repeatedly stabbed, she shouted for help. The people watching the situation from her window shouted at the assaulter to leave the woman alone but never actually helped the woman. 38 people witnessed the murder and no one intervened to help the victim A strong reaction of the public, some even demanded trial for the witnesses An intense discussion among the specialised circles on why the people didnt help
Design of the experiment Presented as a research on the adaptation of the students to the life on the campus The participant was seated in an empty room with a microphone, told to describe their student life for two minutes when their turn comes There were sound recordings of two minute speeches from other students played from other rooms, the participant was convinced that there were other people parttaking in the experiment at the same time In the first recording, a student described their struggles with epilepsy and the stress they undergo After another recording, the speaking time for the participant followed, then possibly other recordings as well Then a recording of the epileptic seizure of the first student was played out, a six minute semi-coherent speech ending in callings for help
The procedure of the experiment 31% of the participants tried to help The sizes of groups differed the smaller group was the participant convinced to be a part of, the more likely he was to help Out of the participants thought to be alone with the student having a seizure 85% called for help in under three minutes The participants who didnt react on the calls for help were very nervous, scared, commented on the situation, but they werent able to get themselves to decide to intervene
Smoke in the room a second experiment What if we ourselves while surrounded by others end up in a dangerous situation? The definiteness of the threat The cohesion of the group The diffusion of responsibility The participant is meant to fill out a questionnaire on the nature of the life on the campus while seated in a room that will at one point start visibly filling up with smoke. If the participant sits in the room alone, he leaves the room to get help almost immediately. If the participant sits in the room with other students who show no signs of concern about the smoke (informed contributors to the experiment), they won t reach out to get any kind of help
The thought processes the intervening bystander undergoes: 1. noticing that there is a problem 2. realising that an intervention is necessary 3. taking the personal responsibility 4. deciding on what the action should look like 5. taking the action