Detailed notes on Ungar Reader, Ch 1 - On Being in Insane Places

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Sheldon Ungar

On Being Sane in Insane Places How do you separate insane from sane? - 1934, Benedict suggested normality and abnormality are not universal - Belief has been strong that patients present symptoms, those symptoms can be categorized and implicitly, the sane are distinguishable from the insane - Psychiatric diagnoses, in this view, are in the minds of observers and are not valid summaries of characteristics displayed by the observed - You place a sane person in a psychiatric hospital, and observe. If he is found sane, if so how. If the pseudopatients were always detected, there would be evidence that a sane individual can be spotted from the insane context in which he is found. - If pseudopatient not detected, outcome would support the view that psychiatric diagnosis betrays little about the patient but much about the environment in which an observer finds him. - 8 sane people admited to 12 different hospitals - JZLK]šš7}L‰Zµ}‰š]LšZÇZZZŒZÀ}] Z^Z}oo}Á_^K‰šÇ_} the same sex, but unfamiliar voice. (such symptoms are alleged to arise from ‰]Lµo }L ŒLZ}µššZ‰Œ ]ÀKL]L2oZZLZZ}}L[Zo] - Falsified only name, vocation and employment and nothing else. - Patient was nervous, but conversed with staff and other patients, observing everything and writing in a journal. - Patients do not know when he would be discharged. Only way out is convincing they are sane. (friendly, cooperative, exhibited no abnormal indications) - KL ooZ Z]šÌ}‰ZŒL] 7Ç}µ[ŒK]LÁ]šZšZšooÀL]Ç}µ[Œ^]L reK]ZZ]}L_ - Noone detected the pseudopatients but other patients raised suspicion. - Due to the fact that physicians operate with a strong bias toward Type 2 error. - Physicians more inclined to call healthy person sick (false positive, type 2) than a sick person healthy (type 1). - More dangerous to misdiagnose illness than health but
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