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On Being Sane in Insane Places
Author(s): D. L. Rosenhan
Source: Science, New Series, Vol. 179, No. 4070 (Jan. 19, 1973), pp. 250-258
Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1735662
Accessed: 30-05-2020 23:46 UTC

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The Geographical Distribution of Animals
(Wiley, New York, 1957); B. Rensch, Evolu-
tion Above the Species Level (Methuen,
London, 1959); V. Grant, The Origin of
Adaptations (Columbia Univ. Press, New
York, 1963).

5. S. Wright, Genetics 16, 97 (1931).
6. , ibid. 28, 114 (1943); ibid. 31, 39

(1946); Evolution and the Genetics of Popu-
lations, vol. 2, The Theory of Gene Fre-
quencies (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago,
1969); F. J. Rohlf and G. D. Schnell, Amer.
Natur. 105, 295 (1971).

7. J. B. S. Haldane, J. Genet. 48, 277 (1948).
8. R. A. Fisher, Biometrics 6, 353 (1950); M.

Kimura, Annu. Rep. Nat. Inst. Genet.
Mishima-City, Japan 9, 84 (1958).

9. M. Kimura and G. H. Weiss, Genetics 49,
561 (1964); M. Kimura and T. Maruyama,
Genet. Res. 18, 125 (1971).

10. P. R. Ehrlich and P. H. Raven, Science 165,
1228 (1969).

11. For example, J. Maynard-Smith, Amer. Natur.
100, 637 (1966).

12. J. M. Thoday, Nature 181, 1124 (1958); —
and T. B. Boam, Heredity 13, 204 (1959); E.
Millicent and J. M. Thoday, Ibid. 16, 219
(1961); J. M. Thoday and J. B. Gibson, Amer.
Natur. 105, 86 (1971).

13. F. A. Streams and D. Pimentel, ibid. 95, 201
(1961); Th. Dobzhansky and B. Spassky, Proc.
Roy. Soc. London Ser. B. 168, 27 (1967);

, J. Sved, ibid. 173, 191 (1969); Th.
Dobzhansky, H. Levene, B. Spassky, ibid. 180,
21 (1972).

14. M. Slatkin, thesis, Harvard University (1971).
15. S. K. Jain and A. D. Bradshaw, Heredity

21, 407 (1966).
16. Parapatric divergence is divergence between

adjacent but genetically continuous popula-
tions. See H. M. Smith, Syst. Zool. 14, 57
(1965); ibid. 18, 254 (1969); M. J. D. White,
R. E. Blackith, R. M. Blackith, J. Cheney,
Aust. J. Zool. 15, 263 (1967); M. J. D. White,
Science 159, 1065 (1968); K. H. L. Key,
Syst. Zool. 17, 14 (1968).

17. J. S. Huxley, Nature 142, 219 (1938); Bijdr.
Dierk. Leiden 27, 491 (1939).

18. F. B. Sumner, Bibliogr. Genet. 9, 1 (1932).
19. F. Salomonsen, Dan. Biol. Medd. 22, 1

(1955).
20. E. B. Ford, Biol. Rev. Cambridge Phil. Soc.

20, 73 (1945).
21. Examples of morph-ratio clines include:

H. B. D. Kettlewell and R. J. Berry, Heredity
16, 403 (1961); ibid. 24, 1 (1969); H. B. D.
Kettlewell, R. J. Berry, C. J. Cadbury,
G. C. Phillips, Ibid., p. 15; H. N. Southern,
J. Zool. London Ser. A 138, 455 (1966);
A. J. Cain and J. D. Currey, Phil. Trans.
Roy. Soc. London Ser. B. 246, 1 (1962);

The Geographical Distribution of Animals
(Wiley, New York, 1957); B. Rensch, Evolu-
tion Above the Species Level (Methuen,
London, 1959); V. Grant, The Origin of
Adaptations (Columbia Univ. Press, New
York, 1963).

5. S. Wright, Genetics 16, 97 (1931).
6. , ibid. 28, 114 (1943); ibid. 31, 39

(1946); Evolution and the Genetics of Popu-
lations, vol. 2, The Theory of Gene Fre-
quencies (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago,
1969); F. J. Rohlf and G. D. Schnell, Amer.
Natur. 105, 295 (1971).

7. J. B. S. Haldane, J. Genet. 48, 277 (1948).
8. R. A. Fisher, Biometrics 6, 353 (1950); M.

Kimura, Annu. Rep. Nat. Inst. Genet.
Mishima-City, Japan 9, 84 (1958).

9. M. Kimura and G. H. Weiss, Genetics 49,
561 (1964); M. Kimura and T. Maruyama,
Genet. Res. 18, 125 (1971).

10. P. R. Ehrlich and P. H. Raven, Science 165,
1228 (1969).

11. For example, J. Maynard-Smith, Amer. Natur.
100, 637 (1966).

12. J. M. Thoday, Nature 181, 1124 (1958); —
and T. B. Boam, Heredity 13, 204 (1959); E.
Millicent and J. M. Thoday, Ibid. 16, 219
(1961); J. M. Thoday and J. B. Gibson, Amer.
Natur. 105, 86 (1971).

13. F. A. Streams and D. Pimentel, ibid. 95, 201
(1961); Th. Dobzhansky and B. Spassky, Proc.
Roy. Soc. London Ser. B. 168, 27 (1967);

, J. Sved, ibid. 173, 191 (1969); Th.
Dobzhansky, H. Levene, B. Spassky, ibid. 180,
21 (1972).

14. M. Slatkin, thesis, Harvard University (1971).
15. S. K. Jain and A. D. Bradshaw, Heredity

21, 407 (1966).
16. Parapatric divergence is divergence between

adjacent but genetically continuous popula-
tions. See H. M. Smith, Syst. Zool. 14, 57
(1965); ibid. 18, 254 (1969); M. J. D. White,
R. E. Blackith, R. M. Blackith, J. Cheney,
Aust. J. Zool. 15, 263 (1967); M. J. D. White,
Science 159, 1065 (1968); K. H. L. Key,
Syst. Zool. 17, 14 (1968).

17. J. S. Huxley, Nature 142, 219 (1938); Bijdr.
Dierk. Leiden 27, 491 (1939).

18. F. B. Sumner, Bibliogr. Genet. 9, 1 (1932).
19. F. Salomonsen, Dan. Biol. Medd. 22, 1

(1955).
20. E. B. Ford, Biol. Rev. Cambridge Phil. Soc.

20, 73 (1945).
21. Examples of morph-ratio clines include:

H. B. D. Kettlewell and R. J. Berry, Heredity
16, 403 (1961); ibid. 24, 1 (1969); H. B. D.
Kettlewell, R. J. Berry, C. J. Cadbury,
G. C. Phillips, Ibid., p. 15; H. N. Southern,
J. Zool. London Ser. A 138, 455 (1966);
A. J. Cain and J. D. Currey, Phil. Trans.
Roy. Soc. London Ser. B. 246, 1 (1962);

A. P. Platt and L. P. Brower, Evolu-
tion 22, 699 (1968); 0. Halkka and E.
Mikkola, Hereditas 54, 140 (1965); B. C.
Clarke, in Evolution and Environment, E. T.
Drake, Ed. (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven,
1968), p. 351; B. C. Clarke and J. J. Murray,
in Ecological Genetics and Evolution, R.
Greed, Ed. (Blackwells, Oxford, 1971), p.
51; J. A. Bishop and P. S. Harper, Heredity
25, 449 (1969); J. A. Bishop, J. Anim. Ecol.
41, 209 (1972); G. Hewitt and F. M. Brown,
Heredity 25, 365 (1970); G. Hewitt and C.
Ruscoe, J. Anim. Ecol. 40, 753 (1971);
H. Wolda, ibid. 38, 623 (1969); F. B. Living-
stone, Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 31, 1 (1969).

22. C. P. Haskins, E. F. Haskins, J. J. A.
McLaughlan, R. E. Hewitt, in Vertebrate
Speciation, W. F. Blair, Ed. (Univ. of Texas
Press, Austin, 1961), p. 320.

23. A. J. Bateman, Heredity 1, 234, 303 (1947);
ibid. 4, 353 (1950); R. N. Colwell, Amer. J.
Bot. 38, 511 (1951); M. R. Roberts and H.
Lewis, Evolution 9, 445 (1955); C. P. Haskins,
personal communication; K. P. Lamb, E.
Hassan, D. P. Scoter, Ecology 52, 178 (1971).
For localized distribution and problem of
establishment see also: W. F. Blair, Ann.
N.Y. Acad. Sci. 44, 179 (1943); Evolution 4,
253 (1950); L. R. Dice, Amer. Natur. 74, 289
(1940); P. Labine, Evolution 20, 580 (1966);
H. Lewis, ibid. 7, 1 (1953); W. Z. Lidicker,
personal communication; J. T. Marshall, Jr.,
Condor 50, 193, 233 (1948); R. K. Sealander,
Amer. Zool. 10, 53 (1970); P. Voipio, Ann.
Zool. Fenn. 15, 1 (1952); P. K. Anderson,
Science 145, 177 (1964).

24. N. W. Timofeeff-Ressovsky, in The New
Systematics, J. S. Huxley, Ed. (Oxford Univ.
Press, Oxford, 1940), p. 73.

25. The null point is the position at which
selection changes over from favoring one
type to favoring another.

26. J. A. Endler, in preparation.
27. L. M. Cook, Coefficients of Natural Selection

(Hutchinson Univ. Library, Biological Sci-
ences No. 153, London, 1971); F. B. Living-
stone, Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 31, 1 (1969).

28. W. C. Allee, A. E. Emerson, 0. Park, T.
Park, K. P. Schmidt, Principles of Animal
Ecology (Saunders, Philadelphia, 1949); H. C.
Andrewartha and L. C. Birch, The Distribu-
tion and Abundance of Animals (Univ. of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 1954); G. L. Clarke,
Elements of Ecology (Wiley, New York,
1954); R. Geiger, The Climate Near the
Ground (translation, Harvard Univ. Press,
Cambridge, 1966).

29. Results for autosomal and sex-linked systems
do not differ for the models to be discussed,
except that, for a given amount of selection,
the sex-linked system is loss sensitive to

A. P. Platt and L. P. Brower, Evolu-
tion 22, 699 (1968); 0. Halkka and E.
Mikkola, Hereditas 54, 140 (1965); B. C.
Clarke, in Evolution and Environment, E. T.
Drake, Ed. (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven,
1968), p. 351; B. C. Clarke and J. J. Murray,
in Ecological Genetics and Evolution, R.
Greed, Ed. (Blackwells, Oxford, 1971), p.
51; J. A. Bishop and P. S. Harper, Heredity
25, 449 (1969); J. A. Bishop, J. Anim. Ecol.
41, 209 (1972); G. Hewitt and F. M. Brown,
Heredity 25, 365 (1970); G. Hewitt and C.
Ruscoe, J. Anim. Ecol. 40, 753 (1971);
H. Wolda, ibid. 38, 623 (1969); F. B. Living-
stone, Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 31, 1 (1969).

22. C. P. Haskins, E. F. Haskins, J. J. A.
McLaughlan, R. E. Hewitt, in Vertebrate
Speciation, W. F. Blair, Ed. (Univ. of Texas
Press, Austin, 1961), p. 320.

23. A. J. Bateman, Heredity 1, 234, 303 (1947);
ibid. 4, 353 (1950); R. N. Colwell, Amer. J.
Bot. 38, 511 (1951); M. R. Roberts and H.
Lewis, Evolution 9, 445 (1955); C. P. Haskins,
personal communication; K. P. Lamb, E.
Hassan, D. P. Scoter, Ecology 52, 178 (1971).
For localized distribution and problem of
establishment see also: W. F. Blair, Ann.
N.Y. Acad. Sci. 44, 179 (1943); Evolution 4,
253 (1950); L. R. Dice, Amer. Natur. 74, 289
(1940); P. Labine, Evolution 20, 580 (1966);
H. Lewis, ibid. 7, 1 (1953); W. Z. Lidicker,
personal communication; J. T. Marshall, Jr.,
Condor 50, 193, 233 (1948); R. K. Sealander,
Amer. Zool. 10, 53 (1970); P. Voipio, Ann.
Zool. Fenn. 15, 1 (1952); P. K. Anderson,
Science 145, 177 (1964).

24. N. W. Timofeeff-Ressovsky, in The New
Systematics, J. S. Huxley, Ed. (Oxford Univ.
Press, Oxford, 1940), p. 73.

25. The null point is the position at which
selection changes over from favoring one
type to favoring another.

26. J. A. Endler, in preparation.
27. L. M. Cook, Coefficients of Natural Selection

(Hutchinson Univ. Library, Biological Sci-
ences No. 153, London, 1971); F. B. Living-
stone, Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 31, 1 (1969).

28. W. C. Allee, A. E. Emerson, 0. Park, T.
Park, K. P. Schmidt, Principles of Animal
Ecology (Saunders, Philadelphia, 1949); H. C.
Andrewartha and L. C. Birch, The Distribu-
tion and Abundance of Animals (Univ. of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 1954); G. L. Clarke,
Elements of Ecology (Wiley, New York,
1954); R. Geiger, The Climate Near the
Ground (translation, Harvard Univ. Press,
Cambridge, 1966).

29. Results for autosomal and sex-linked systems
do not differ for the models to be discussed,
except that, for a given amount of selection,
the sex-linked system is loss sensitive to

the effects of gene flow. This is because the
effective gene selection on males in sex-linked
loci makes the net selection stronger, com-
pared to autosomal loci, for the population
as a whole. See C. C. Li, Population Genetics
(Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1955) for
a good discussion of sex-linkage and selection.

30. The equilibrium configurations are not sig-
nificantly altered if the emigrants from the
end demes do not return, unless the number
of demes (d) is very small (J. A. Endler,
unpublished data).

31. See, for example, the models of B. C.
Clarke [Amer. Natur. 100, 389 (1966)] and
those in (14).

32. This model incorporates Clarke’s model of
frequency-dependence; see B. C. Clarke,
Evolution 18, 364 (1964).

33. R. A. Fisher and F. Yates, Statistical Tables
for Biological, Agricultural, and Medical Re-
search (Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1948);
R. R. Sokal and F. J. Rohlf, Biometry
(Freeman, San Francisco, 1969).

34. See, for example, C. G. Johnson, Migration
and Dispersal of Insects by Flight (Methuen,
London, 1969); J. Antonovics, Amer. Sci. 59,
593 (1971).

35. E. C. Pielou, An Introduction to Mathematical
Ecology (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1969).

36. W. F. Blair, Contrib. Lab. Vertebrate Biol.
Univ. Mich. No. 36, 1 (1947).

37. P. A. Parsons, Genetica 33, 184 (1963).
38. G. Hewitt and B. John, Chromosoma 21,

140 (1967); Evolution 24, 169 (1970); G.
Hewitt, personal communication; H. Wolda,
J. Anim. Ecol. 38, 305, 623 (1969).

39. L. R. Dice, Contrib. Lab. Vertebrate Genet.
Univ. Mich. No. 8 (1939), p. 1; ibid. No. 15
(1941), p. 1.

40. I. C. J. Galbraith, Bull. Brit. Mus. Natur.
Hist. Zool. 4, 133 (1956).

41. I am grateful to the National Science Founda-
tion for a graduate fellowship in support
of this study. I thank Prof. Alan Robertson
and the Institute of Animal Genetics, Uni-
versity of Edinburgh, for the Drosophila, and
for kindly providing me with fresh medium
throughout the study. Criticism of the manu-
script by Professors John Bonner and Jane
Potter, Dr. Philip Ashmole, Peter Tuft, Dr.
David Noakes, Dr. John Godfrey, Dr. Caryl
P. Haskins, and M. C. Bathgate was very
welcome. In particular, I thank my supervisor,
Professor Bryan C. Clarke, for help and criti-
cism throughout this study. Any errors or
omissions are entirely my own. I thank the
Edinburgh Regional Computing Center and
the Edinburgh University Zoology Department
for generous computer time allowances. I will
supply the specially written IMiP language
program upon request.

the effects of gene flow. This is because the
effective gene selection on males in sex-linked
loci makes the net selection stronger, com-
pared to autosomal loci, for the population
as a whole. See C. C. Li, Population Genetics
(Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1955) for
a good discussion of sex-linkage and selection.

30. The equilibrium configurations are not sig-
nificantly altered if the emigrants from the
end demes do not return, unless the number
of demes (d) is very small (J. A. Endler,
unpublished data).

31. See, for example, the models of B. C.
Clarke [Amer. Natur. 100, 389 (1966)] and
those in (14).

32. This model incorporates Clarke’s model of
frequency-dependence; see B. C. Clarke,
Evolution 18, 364 (1964).

33. R. A. Fisher and F. Yates, Statistical Tables
for Biological, Agricultural, and Medical Re-
search (Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1948);
R. R. Sokal and F. J. Rohlf, Biometry
(Freeman, San Francisco, 1969).

34. See, for example, C. G. Johnson, Migration
and Dispersal of Insects by Flight (Methuen,
London, 1969); J. Antonovics, Amer. Sci. 59,
593 (1971).

35. E. C. Pielou, An Introduction to Mathematical
Ecology (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1969).

36. W. F. Blair, Contrib. Lab. Vertebrate Biol.
Univ. Mich. No. 36, 1 (1947).

37. P. A. Parsons, Genetica 33, 184 (1963).
38. G. Hewitt and B. John, Chromosoma 21,

140 (1967); Evolution 24, 169 (1970); G.
Hewitt, personal communication; H. Wolda,
J. Anim. Ecol. 38, 305, 623 (1969).

39. L. R. Dice, Contrib. Lab. Vertebrate Genet.
Univ. Mich. No. 8 (1939), p. 1; ibid. No. 15
(1941), p. 1.

40. I. C. J. Galbraith, Bull. Brit. Mus. Natur.
Hist. Zool. 4, 133 (1956).

41. I am grateful to the National Science Founda-
tion for a graduate fellowship in support
of this study. I thank Prof. Alan Robertson
and the Institute of Animal Genetics, Uni-
versity of Edinburgh, for the Drosophila, and
for kindly providing me with fresh medium
throughout the study. Criticism of the manu-
script by Professors John Bonner and Jane
Potter, Dr. Philip Ashmole, Peter Tuft, Dr.
David Noakes, Dr. John Godfrey, Dr. Caryl
P. Haskins, and M. C. Bathgate was very
welcome. In particular, I thank my supervisor,
Professor Bryan C. Clarke, for help and criti-
cism throughout this study. Any errors or
omissions are entirely my own. I thank the
Edinburgh Regional Computing Center and
the Edinburgh University Zoology Department
for generous computer time allowances. I will
supply the specially written IMiP language
program upon request.

On Being Sane in Insane Places

D. L. Rosenhan

On Being Sane in Insane Places

D. L. Rosenhan

If sanity and insanity exist, how shall
we know them?

The question is neither capricious nor
itself insane. However much we may
be personally convinced that we can
tell the normal from the abnormal, the
evidence is simply not compelling. It is
commonplace, for example, to read
about murder trials wherein eminent

psychiatrists for the defense are con-
250

If sanity and insanity exist, how shall
we know them?

The question is neither capricious nor
itself insane. However much we may
be personally convinced that we can
tell the normal from the abnormal, the
evidence is simply not compelling. It is
commonplace, for example, to read
about murder trials wherein eminent

psychiatrists for the defense are con-
250

tradicted by equally eminent psychia-
trists for the prosecution on the matter
of the defendant’s sanity. More gen-
erally, there are a great deal of conflict-
ing data on the reliability, utility, and
meaning of such terms as “sanity,” “in-
sanity,” “mental illness,” and “schizo-
phrenia” (1). Finally, as early as 1934,
Benedict suggested that normality and
abnormality are not universal (2).

tradicted by equally eminent psychia-
trists for the prosecution on the matter
of the defendant’s sanity. More gen-
erally, there are a great deal of conflict-
ing data on the reliability, utility, and
meaning of such terms as “sanity,” “in-
sanity,” “mental illness,” and “schizo-
phrenia” (1). Finally, as early as 1934,
Benedict suggested that normality and
abnormality are not universal (2).

What is viewed as normal in one cul-

ture may be seen as quite aberrant in
another. Thus, notions of normality and
abnormality may not be quite as accu-
rate as people believe they are.

To raise questions regarding normal-
ity and abnormality is in no way to
question the fact that some behaviors
are deviant or odd. Murder is deviant.

So, too, are hallucinations. Nor does
raising such questions deny the exis-
tence of the personal anguish that is
often associated with “mental illness.”

Anxiety and depression exist. Psycho-
logical suffering exists. But normality
and abnormality, sanity and insanity,
and the diagnoses that flow from them

What is viewed as normal in one cul-

ture may be seen as quite aberrant in
another. Thus, notions of normality and
abnormality may not be quite as accu-
rate as people believe they are.

To raise questions regarding normal-
ity and abnormality is in no way to
question the fact that some behaviors
are deviant or odd. Murder is deviant.

So, too, are hallucinations. Nor does
raising such questions deny the exis-
tence of the personal anguish that is
often associated with “mental illness.”

Anxiety and depression exist. Psycho-
logical suffering exists. But normality
and abnormality, sanity and insanity,
and the diagnoses that flow from them

The author is professor of psychology and law
at Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.
Portions of these data were presented to collo-
quiums of the psychology departments at the
University of California at Berkeley and at Santa
Barbara; University of Arizona, Tucson; and
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

SCIENCE, VOL. 179

The author is professor of psychology and law
at Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.
Portions of these data were presented to collo-
quiums of the psychology departments at the
University of California at Berkeley and at Santa
Barbara; University of Arizona, Tucson; and
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

SCIENCE, VOL. 179

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may be less substantive than many be-
lieve them to be.

At its heart, the question of whether
the sane can be distinguished from the
insane (and whether degrees of insanity
can be distinguished from each other)
is a simple matter: do the salient char-
acteristics that lead to diagnoses reside
in the patients themselves or in the en-
vironments and contexts in which ob-

servers find them? From Bleuler,
through Kretchmer, through the formu-
lators of the recently revised Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of the American

Psychiatric Association, the belief has
been strong that patients present symp-
toms, that those symptoms can be cate-
gorized, and, implicitly, that the sane
are distinguishable from the insane.
More recently, however, this belief has
been questioned. Based in part on theo-
retical and anthropological considera-
tions, but also on philosophical, legal,
and therapeutic ones, the view has
grown that psychological categorization
of mental illness is useless at best and

downright harmful, misleading, and
pejorative at worst. Psychiatric diag-
noses, in this view, are in the minds of
the observers and are not valid sum-

maries of characteristics displayed by
the observed (3-5).

Gains can be made in deciding which
of these is more nearly accurate by
getting normal people (that is, people
who do not have, and have never suf-
fered, symptoms of serious psychiatric
disorders) admitted to psychiatric hos-
pitals and then determining whether
they were discovered to be sane and, if
so, how. If the sanity of such pseudo-
patients were always detected, there
would be prima facie evidence that a
sane individual can be distinguished
from the insane context in which he is

found. Normality (and presumably ab-
normality) is distinct enough that it
can be recognized wherever it occurs,
for it is carried within the person. If,
on the other hand, the sanity of the
pseudopatients were never discovered,
serious difficulties would arise for those

who support traditional modes of psy-
chiatric diagnosis. Given that the hospi-
tal staff was not incompetent, that the
pseudopatient had been behaving as
sanely as he had been outside of the
hospital, and that it had never been
previously suggested that he belonged
in a psychiatric hospital, such an un-
likely outcome would support the view
that psychiatric diagnosis betrays little
about the patient but much about the
environment in which an observer finds
him.

19 JANUARY 1973

This article describes such an experi-
ment. Eight sane people gained secret
admission to 12 different hospitals (6).
Their diagnostic experiences constitute
the data of the first part of this article;
the remainder is devoted to a descrip-
tion of their experiences in psychiatric
institutions. Too few psychiatrists and
psychologists, even those who have
worked in such hospitals, know what
the experience is like. They rarely talk
about it with former patients, perhaps
because they distrust information com-
ing from the previously insane. Those
who have worked in psychiatric hospi-
tals are likely to have adapted so thor-
oughly to the settings that they are
insensitive to the impact of that expe-
rience. And while there have been oc-

casional reports of researchers who
submitted themselves to psychiatric hos-
pitalization (7), these researchers have
commonly remained in the hospitals for
short periods of time, often with the
knowledge of the hospital staff. It is
difficult to know the extent to which

they were treated like patients or like
research colleagues. Nevertheless, their
reports about the inside of the psychi-
atric hospital have been valuable. This
article extends those efforts.

Pseudopatients and Their Settings

The eight pseudopatients were a
varied group. One was a psychology
graduate student in his 20’s. The re-
maining seven were older and “estab-
lished.” Among them were three psy-
chologists, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist,
a painter, and a housewife. Three
pseudopatients were women, five were
men. All of them employed pseudo-
nyms, lest their alleged diagnoses em-
barrass them later. Those who were in

mental health professions alleged an-
other occupation in order to avoid the
special attentions that might be ac-
corded by staff, as a matter of courtesy
or caution, to ailing colleagues (8).
With the exception of myself (I was the
first pseudopatient and my presence was
known to the hospital administrator and
chief psychologist and, so far as I can
tell, to them alone), the presence of
pseudopatients and the nature of the re-
search program was not known to the
hospital staffs (9).

The settings were similarly varied. In
order to generalize the findings, admis-
sion into a variety of hospitals was
sought. The 12 hospitals in the sample
were located in five different states on
the East and West coasts. Some were

old and shabby, some were quite new.
Some were research-oriented, others
not. Some had good staff-patient ratios,
others were quite understaffed. Only
one was a strictly private hospital. All
of the others were supported by state
or federal funds or, in one instance, by
university funds.

After calling the hospital for an ap-
pointment, the pseudopatient arrived at
the admissions office complaining that
he had been hearing voices. Asked what
the voices said, he replied that they
were often unclear, but as far as he
could tell they said “empty,” “hollow,”
and “thud.” The voices were unfamiliar

and were of the same sex as the pseudo-
patient. The choice of these symptoms
was occasioned by their apparent sim-
ilarity to existential symptoms. Such
symptoms are alleged to arise from
painful concerns about the perceived
meaninglessness of one’s life. It is as
if the hallucinating person were saying,
“My life is empty and hollow.” The
choice of these symptoms was also de-
termined by the absence of a single
report of existential psychoses in the
literature.

Beyond alleging the symptoms and
falsifying name, vocation, and employ-
ment, no further alterations of person,
history, or circumstances were made.
The significant events of the pseudo-
patient’s life history were presented as
they had actually occurred. Relation-
ships with parents and siblings, with
spouse and children, with people at
work and in school, consistent with the
aforementioned exceptions, were de-
scribed as they were or had been. Frus-
trations and upsets were described
along with joys and satisfactions. These
facts are important to remember. If
anything, they strongly biased the sub-
sequent results in favor of detecting
sanity, since none of their histories or
current behaviors were seriously patho-
logical in any way.

Immediately upon admission to the
psychiatric ward, the pseudopatient
ceased simulating any symptoms of ab-
normality. In some cases, there was a
brief period of mild nervousness and
anxiety, since none of the pseudopa-
tients really believed that they would be
admitted so easily. Indeed, their shared
fear was that they would be immedi-
ately exposed as frauds and greatly
embarrassed. Moreover, many of them
had never visited a psychiatric ward;
even those who had, nevertheless had
some genuine fears about what might
happen to them. Their nervousness,
then, was quite appropriate to the nov-

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Tom
Highlight

elty of the hospital setting, and it abated
rapidly.

Apart from that short-lived nervous-
ness, the pseudopatient behaved on the
ward as he “normally” behaved. The
pseudopatient spoke to patients and
staff as he might ordinarily. Because
there is uncommonly little to do on a
psychiatric ward, he attempted to en-
gage others in conversation. When
asked by staff how he was feeling, he
indicated that he was fine, that he no
longer experienced symptoms. He re-
sponded to instructions from attendants,
to calls for medication (which was not
swallowed), and to dining-hall instruc-
tions. Beyond such activities as were
available to him on the admissions

ward, he spent his time writing down
his observations about the ward, its
patients, and the staff. Initially these
notes were written “secretly,” but as it
soon became clear that no one much

cared, they were subsequently written
on standard tablets of paper in such
public places as the dayroom. No secret
was made of these activities.

The pseudopatient, very much as a
true psychiatric patient, entered a hos-
pital with no foreknowledge of when
he would be discharged. Each was told
that he would have to get out by his
own devices, essentially by convincing
the staff that he was sane. The psycho-
logical stresses associated with hospital-
ization were considerable, and all but
one of the pseudopatients desired to be
discharged almost immediately after
being admitted. They were, therefore,
motivated not only to behave sanely,
but to be paragons of cooperation. That
their behavior was in no way disruptive
is confirmed by nursing reports, which
have been obtained on most of the

patients. These reports uniformly indi-
cate that the patients were “friendly,”
“cooperative,” and “exhibited no ab-
normal indications.”

The Normal Are Not Detectably Sane

Despite their public “show” of sanity,
the pseudopatients were never detected.
Admitted, except in one case, with a
diagnosis of schizophrenia (10), each
was discharged with a diagnosis of
schizophrenia “in remission.” The label
“in remission” should in no way be
dismissed as a formality, for at no time
during any hospitalization had any
question been raised about any pseudo-
patient’s simulation. Nor are there any
indications in the hospital records that
the pseudopatient’s status was suspect.
Rather, the evidence is strong that, once

252

labeled schizophrenic, the pseudopatient
was stuck with that label. If the pseudo-
patient was to be discharged, he must
naturally be “in remission”; but he was
not sane, nor, in the institution’s view,
had he ever been sane.

The uniform failure to recognize san-
ity cannot be attributed to the quality
of the hospitals, for, although there
were considerable variations among
them, several are considered excellent.
Nor can it be alleged that there was
simply not enough time to observe the
pseudopatients. Length of hospitaliza-
tion ranged from 7 to 52 days, with an
average of 19 days. The pseudopatients
were not, in fact, carefully observed,
but this failure clearly speaks more to
traditions within psychiatric hospitals
than to lack of opportunity.

Finally, it cannot be said that the
failure to recognize the pseudopatients’
sanity was due to the fact that they
were not behaving sanely. While there
was clearly some tension present in all
of them, their daily visitors could detect
no serious behavioral consequences-
nor, indeed, could other patients. It was
quite common for the patients to “de-
tect” the pseudopatients’ sanity. During
the first three hospitalizations, when
accurate counts were kept, 35 of a total
of 118 patients on the admissions ward
voiced their suspicions, some vigorously.
“You’re not crazy. You’re a journalist,
or a professor [referring to the con-
tinual note-taking]. You’re checking up
on the hospital.” While most of the
patients were reassured by the pseudo-
patient’s insistence that he had been
sick before he came in but was fine

now, some continued to believe that
the pseudopatient was sane throughout
his hospitalization (11). The fact that
the patients often recognized normality
when staff did not raises important
questions.

Failure to detect sanity during the
course of hospitalization may be due
to the fact that physicians operate with
a strong bias toward what statisticians
call the type 2 error (5). This is to
say that physicians are more inclined
to call a healthy person sick (a false
positive, type 2) than a sick person
healthy (a false negative, type 1). The
reasons for this are not hard to find:

it is clearly more dangerous to mis-
diagnose illness than health. Better to
err on the side of caution, to suspect
illness even among the healthy.

But what holds for medicine does

not hold equally well for psychiatry.
Medical illnesses, while unfortunate, are
not commonly pejorative. Psychiatric
diagnoses, on the contrary, carry with

them personal, legal, and social stigmas
(12). It was therefore important to see
whether the tendency toward diagnosing
the sane insane could be reversed. The

following experiment was arranged at
a research and teaching hospital whose
staff had heard these findings but
doubted that such an error could occur

in their hospital. The staff was informed
that at some time during the following
3 months, one or more pseudopatients
would attempt to be admitted into the
psychiatric hospital. Each staff member
was asked to rate each patient who pre-
sented himself at admissions or on the

ward according to the likelihood that
the patient was a pseudopatient. A 10-
point scale was used, with a 1 and 2
reflecting high confidence that the pa-
tient was a pseudopatient.

Judgments were obtained on 193 pa-
tients who were admitted for psychi-
atric treatment. All staff who had had

sustained contact with or primary re-
sponsibility for the patient-attendants,
nurses, psychiatrists, physicians, and
psychologists-were asked to make
judgments. Forty-one patients were al-
leged, with high confidence, to be
pseudopatients by at least one member
of the staff. Twenty-three were consid-
ered suspect by at least one psychiatrist.
Nineteen were suspected by one psychi-
atrist and one other staff member.

Actually, no genuine pseudopatient (at
least from my group) presented himself
during this period.

The experiment is instructive. It indi-
cates that the tendency to designate
sane people as insane can be reversed
when the stakes (in this case, prestige
and diagnostic acumen) are high. But
what can be said of the 19 people who
were suspected of being “sane” by one
psychiatrist and another staff member?
Were these people truly “sane,” or was
it rather the case that in the course of

avoiding the type 2 error the staff
tended to make more errors of the first

sort-calling the crazy “sane”? There is
no way of knowing. But one thing is
certain: any diagnostic process that
lends itself so readily to massive errors
of this sort cannot be a very reliable
one.

The Stickiness of

Psychodiagnostic Labels

Beyond the tendency to call the
healthy sick-a tendency that accounts
better for diagnostic behavior on admis-
sion than it does for such behavior after

a lengthy period of exposure-the data
speak to the massive role of labeling in

SCIENCE, VOL. 179

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psychiatric assessment. Having once
been labeled schizophrenic, there is
nothing the pseudopatient can do to
overcome the tag. The tag profoundly
colors others’ perceptions of him and
his behavior.

From one viewpoint, these data are
hardly surprising, for it has long been
known that elements are given meaning
by the context in which they occur.
Gestalt psychology made this point
vigorously, and Asch (13) demon-
strated that there are “central” person-
ality traits (such as “warm” versus
“cold”) which are so powerful that they
markedly color the meaning of other
information in forming an impression
of a given personality (14). “Insane,”
“schizophrenic,” “manic-depressive,”
and “crazy” are probably among the
most powerful of such central traits.
Once a person is designated abnormal,
all of his other behaviors and character-

istics are colored by that label. Indeed,
that label is so powerful that many of
the pseudopatients’ normal behaviors
were overlooked entirely or profoundly
misinterpreted. Some examples may
clarify this issue.

Earlier I indicated that there were

no changes in the pseudopatient’s per-
sonal history and current status beyond
those of name, employment, and, where
necessary, vocation. Otherwise, a veridi-
cal description of personal history and
circumstances was offered. Those cir-

cumstances were not psychotic. How
were they made consonant with the
diagnosis of psychosis? Or were those
diagnoses modified in such a way as to
bring them into accord with the cir-
cumstances of the pseudopatient’s life,
as described by him?

As far as I can determine, diagnoses
were in no way affected by the relative
health of the circumstances of a pseudo-
patient’s life. Rather, the reverse oc-
curred: the perception of his cir-
cumstances was shaped entirely by the
diagnosis. A clear example of such
translation is found in the case of a

pseudopatient who had had a close re-
lationship with his mother but was
rather remote from his father during
his early childhool. During adolescence
and beyond, however, his father be-
came a close friend, while his relation-
ship with his mother cooled. His present
relationship with his wife was charac-
teristically close and warm. Apart from
occasional angry exchanges, friction
was minimal. The children had rarely
been spanked. Surely there is nothing
especially pathological about such a
history. Indeed, many readers may see
a similar pattern in their own experi-
19 JANUARY 1973

ences, with no markedly deleterious
consequences. Observe, however, how
such a history was translated in the
psychopathological context, this from
the case summary prepared after the
patient was discharged.

This white 39-year-old male . . . mani-
fests a long history of considerable ambiv-
alence in close relationships, which begins
in early childhood. A warm relationship
with his mother cools during his adoles-
cence. A distant relationship to his father
is described as becoming very intense.
Affective stability is absent. His attempts
to control emotionality with his wife and
children are punctuated by angry out-
bursts and, in the case of the children,
spankings. And while he says that he has
several good friends, one senses consider-
able ambivalence embedded in those rela-
tionships also ….

The facts of the case were uninten-

tionally distorted by the staff to achieve
consistency with a popular theory of
the dynamics of a schizophrenic reac-
tion (15). Nothing of an ambivalent
nature had been described in relations

with parents, spouse, or friends. To the
extent that ambivalence could be in-

ferred, it was probably not greater than
is found in all human relationships. It
is true the pseudopatient’s relationships
with his parents changed over time, but
in the ordinary context that would
hardly be remarkable-indeed, it might
very well be expected. Clearly, the
meaning ascribed to his verbalizations
(that is, ambivalence, affective instabil-
ity) was determined by the diagnosis:
schizophrenia. An entirely different
meaning would have been ascribed if
it were known that the man was
“normal.”

All pseudopatients took extensive
notes publicly. Under ordinary circum-
stances, such behavior would have
raised questions in the minds of ob-
servers, as, in fact, it did among pa-
tients. Indeed, it seemed so certain that
the notes would elicit suspicion that
elaborate precautions were taken to re-
move them from the ward each day.
But the precautions proved needless.
The closest any staff member came to
questioning these notes occurred when
one pseudopatient asked his physician
what kind of medication he was receiv-

ing and began to write down the re-
sponse. “You needn’t write it,” he was
told gently. “If you have trouble re-
membering, just ask me again.”

If no questions were asked of the

pseudopatients, how was their writing
interpreted? Nursing records for three
patients indicate that the writing was
seen as an aspect of their pathological
behavior. “Patient engages in writing
behavior” was the daily nursing com-

ment on one of the pseudopatients who
was never questioned about his writing.
Given that the patient is in the hospital,
he must be psychologically disturbed.
And given that he is disturbed, continu-
ous writing must be a behavioral mani-
festation of that disturbance, perhaps a
subset of the compulsive behaviors that
are sometimes correlated with schizo-

phrenia.
One tacit characteristic of psychiatric

diagnosis is that it locates the sources
of aberration within the individual and

only rarely within the complex of stim-
uli that surrounds him. Consequently,
behaviors that are stimulated by the
environment are commonly misattrib-
uted to the patient’s disorder. For ex-
ample, one kindly nurse found a
pseudopatient pacing the long hospital
corridors. “Nervous, Mr. X?” she asked.
“No, bored,” he said.

The notes kept by pseudopatients are
full of patient behaviors that were mis-
interpreted by well-intentioned staff.
Often enough, a patient would go “ber-
serk” because he had, wittingly or un-
wittingly, been mistreated by, say, an
attendant. A nurse coming upon the
scene would rarely inquire even cursor-
ily into the environmental stimuli of
the patient’s behavior. Rather, she as-
sumed that his upset derived from his
pathology, not from his present inter-
actions with other staff members. Oc-

casionally, the staff might assume that
the patient’s family (especially when
they had recently visited) or other pa-
tients had stimulated the outburst. But
never were the staff found to assume
that one of themselves or the structure

of the hospital had anything to do with
a patient’s behavior. One psychiatrist
pointed to a group of patients who were
sitting outside the cafeteria entrance
half an hour before lunchtime. To a
group of young residents he indicated
that such behavior was characteristic
of the oral-acquisitive nature of the
syndrome. It seemed not to occur to
him that there were very few things to
anticipate in a psychiatric hospital be-
sides eating.

A psychiatric label has a life and an
influence of its own. Once the impres-
sion has been formed that the patient is
schizophrenic, the expectation is that
he will continue to be schizophrenic.
When a sufficient amount of time has
passed, during which the patient has
done nothing bizarre, he is considered
to be in remission and available for dis-
charge. But the label endures beyond
discharge, with the unconfirmed expec-
tation that he will behave as a schizo-
phrenic again. Such labels, conferred

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by mental health professionals, are as
influential on the patient as they are on
his relatives and friends, and it should
not surprise anyone that the diagnosis
acts on all of them as a self-fulfilling
prophecy. Eventually, the patient him-
self accepts the diagnosis, with all of
its surplus meanings and expectations,
and behaves accordingly (5).

The inferences to be made from

these matters are quite simple. Much
as Zigler and Phillips have demon-
strated that there is enormous overlap
in the symptoms presented by patients
who have been variously diagnosed
(16), so there is enormous overlap in
the behaviors of the sane and the in-

sane. The sane are not “sane” all of

the time. We lose our tempers “for no
good reason.” We are occasionally de-
pressed or anxious, again for no good
reason. And we may find it difficult to
get along with one or another person-
again for no reason that we can specify.
Similarly, the insane are not always in-
sane. Indeed, it was the impression of
the pseudopatients while living with
them that they were sane for long pe-
riods of time-that the bizarre behav-

iors upon which their diagnoses were
allegedly predicated constituted only a
small fraction of their total behavior.
If it makes no sense to label ourselves

permanently depressed on the basis of
an occasional depression, then it takes
better evidence than is presently avail-
able to label all patients insane or
schizophrenic on the basis of bizarre
behaviors or cognitions. It seems more
useful, as Mischel (17) has pointed
out, to limit our discussions to behav-
iors, the stimuli that provoke them, and
their correlates.

It is not known why powerful impres-
sions of personality traits, such as
“crazy” or “insane,” arise. Conceivably,
when the origins of and stimuli that
give rise to a behavior are remote or
unknown, or when the behavior strikes
us as immutable, trait labels regarding
the behaver arise. When, on the other
hand, the origins and stimuli are known
and available, discourse is limited to
the behavior itself. Thus, I may hallu-
cinate because I am sleeping, or I may
hallucinate because I have ingested a
peculiar drug. These are termed sleep-
induced hallucinations, or dreams, and
drug-induced hallucinations, respective-
ly. But when the stimuli to my hallu-
cinations are unknown, that is called
craziness, or schizophrenia-as if that
inference were somehow as illuminating
as the others.

254

The Experience of

Psychiatric Hospitalization

The term “mental illness” is of re-

cent origin. It was coined by people
who were humane in their inclinations

and who wanted very much to raise the
station of (and the public’s sympathies
toward) the psychologically disturbed
from that of witches and “crazies” to

one that was akin to the physically ill.
And they were at least partially success-
ful, for the treatment of the mentally
ill has improved considerably over the
years. But while treatment has im-
proved, it is doubtful that people really
regard the mentally ill in the same way
that they view the physically ill. A
broken leg is something one recovers
from, but mental illness allegedly en-
dures forever (18). A broken leg does
not threaten the observer, but a crazy
schizophrenic? There is by now a host
of evidence that attitudes toward the

mentally ill are characterized by fear,
hostility, aloofness, suspicion, and dread
(19). The mentally ill are society’s
lepers.

That such attitudes infect the general
population is perhaps not surprising,
only upsetting. But that they affect the
professionals-attendants, nurses, phy-
sicians, psychologists, and social work-
ers-who treat and deal with the men-

tally ill is more disconcerting, both
because such attitudes are self-evidently
pernicious and because they are unwit-
ting. Most mental health professionals
would insist that they are sympathetic
toward the mentally ill, that they are
neither avoidant nor hostile. But it is

more likely that an exquisite ambiv-
alence characterizes their relations with

psychiatric patients, such that their
avowed impulses are only part of their
entire attitude. Negative attitudes are
there too and can easily be detected.
Such attitudes should not surprise us.
They are the natural offspring of the
labels patients wear and the places in
which they are found.

Consider the structure of the typical
psychiatric hospital. Staff and patients
are strictly segregated. Staff have their
own living space, including their dining
facilities, bathrooms, and assembly
places. The glassed quarters that con-
tain the professional staff, which the
pseudopatients came to call “the cage,”
sit out on every dayroom. The staff
emerge primarily for caretaking pur-
poses-to give medication, to conduct a
therapy or group meeting, to instruct or
reprimand a patient. Otherwise, staff

keep to themselves, almost as if the dis-
order that afflicts their charges is some-
how catching.

So much is patient-staff segregation
the rule that, for four public hospitals
in which an attempt was made to mea-
sure the degree to which staff and pa-
tients mingle, it was necessary to use
“time out of the staff cage” as the
operational measure. While it was not
the case that all time spent out of the
cage was spent mingling with patients
(attendants, for example, would occa-
sionally emerge to watch television in
the dayroom), it was the only way in
which one could gather reliable data
on time for measuring.

The average amount of time spent
by attendants outside of the cage was
11.3 percent (range, 3 to 52 percent).
This figure does not represent only
time spent mingling with patients, but
also includes time spent on such chores
as folding laundry, supervising patients
while they shave, directing ward clean-
up, and sending patients to off-ward
activities. It was the relatively rare at-
tendant who spent time talking with
patients or playing games with them. It
proved impossible to obtain a “percent
mingling time” for nurses, since the
amount of time they spent out of the
cage was too brief. Rather, we counted
instances of emergence from the cage.
On the average, daytime nurses emerged
from the cage 11.5 times per shift,
including instances when they left the
ward entirely (range, 4 to 39 times).
Late afternoon and night nurses were
even less available, emerging on the
average 9.4 times per shift (range, 4 to
41 times). Data on early morning
nurses, who arrived usually after mid-
night and departed at 8 a.m., are not
available because patients were asleep
during most of this period.

Physicians, especially psychiatrists,
were even less available. They were
rarely seen on the wards. Quite com-
monly, they would be seen only when
they arrived and departed, with the re-
maining time being spent in their offices
or in the cage. On the average, physi-
cians emerged on the ward 6.7 times
per day (range, 1 to 17 times). It
proved difficult to make an accurate
estimate in this regard, since physicians
often maintained hours that allowed

them to come and go at different times.
The hierarchical organization of the

psychiatric hospital has been com-
mented on before (20), but the latent
meaning of that kind of organization is
worth noting again. Those with the

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Table 1. Self-initiated contact by pseudopatients with psychiatrists and nurses and attendants, compared to contact with other groups.

Psychiatric hospitals University campus University medical center Psychiatric hospitals (nonmedical) -__ _______ _____ (nonmedical) Physicians
Contact (2) (4) (5)

(1) Nurses (3) (4) (5) (6)
()Psychiatrs aNurses (3)l “Looking for a “Looking for No additional

Psycaattendants Fapsychiatrist” an internist” comment attendants
Responses
Moves on, head averted (%) 71 88 0 0 0 0
Makes eye contact (%) 23 10 0 11 0 0
Pauses and chats (%) 2 2 0 11 0 10
Stops and talks (%) 4 0.5 100 78 100 90

Mean number of questions

answered (out of 6) * * 6 3.8 4.8 4.5
Respondents (No.) 13 47 14 18 15 10
Attempts (No.) 185 1283 14 18 15 10
* Not applicable.

most power have least to do with pa-
tients, and those with the least power
are most involved with them. Recall,
however, that the acquisition of role-
appropriate behaviors occurs mainly
through the observation of others, with
the most powerful having the most in-
fluence. Consequently, it is understand-
able that attendants not only spend
more time with patients than do any
other members of the staff-that is re-

quired by their station in the hierarchy
-but also, insofar as they learn from
their superiors’ behavior, spend as little
time with patients as they can. Attend-
ants are seen mainly in the cage, which
is where the models, the action, and
the power are.

I turn now to a different set of

studies, these dealing with staff re-
sponse to patient-initiated contact. It
has long been known that the amount
of time a person spends with you can
be an index of your significance to him.
If he initiates and maintains eye con-
tact, there is reason to believe that he

is considering your requests and needs.
If he pauses to chat or actually stops
and talks, there is added reason to infer

that he is individuating you. In four
hospitals, the pseudopatient approached
the staff member with a request which
took the following form: “Pardon me,
Mr. [or Dr. or Mrs.] X, could you tell
me when I will be eligible for grounds
privileges?” (or ” . . . when I will be
presented at the staff meeting?” or “. . .
when I am likely to be discharged?”).
While the content of the question varied
according to the appropriateness of the
target and the pseudopatient’s (appar-
ent) current needs the form was al-

ways a courteous and relevant request
for information. Care was taken never
to approach a particular member of the
staff more than once a day, lest the
staff member become suspicious or ir-
19 JANUARY 1973

ritated. In examining these data, re-
member that the behavior of the
pseudopatients was neither bizarre nor
disruptive. One could indeed engage in
good conversation with them.

The data for these experiments are
shown in Table 1, separately for physi-
cians (column 1) and for nurses and
attendants (column 2). Minor differ-
ences between these four institutions
were overwhelmed by the degree to
which staff avoided continuing contacts
that patients had initiated. By far, their
most common response consisted of
either a brief response to the question,
offered while they were “on the move”
and with head averted, or no response
at all.

The encounter frequently took the
following bizarre form: (pseudopatient)
“Pardon me, Dr. X. Could you tell me
when I am eligible for grounds priv-
ileges?” (physician) “Good morning,
Dave. How are you today?” (Moves off
without waiting for a response.)

It is instructive to compare these
data with data recently obtained at
Stanford University. It has been alleged
that large and eminent universities are
characterized by faculty who are so
busy that they have no time for stu-
dents. For this comparison, a young
lady approached individual faculty mem-
bers who seemed to be walking pur-
posefully to some meeting or teaching
engagement and asked them the fol-
lowing six questions.

1) “Pardon me, could you direct me
to Encina Hall?” (at the medical
school: “. . . to the Clinical Research
Center?”).

2) “Do you know where Fish Annex
is?” (there is no Fish Annex at Stan-
ford).

3) “Do you teach here?”
4) “How does one apply for admis-

sion to the college?” (at the medical

school: “. .. to the medical school?”).
5) “Is it difficult to get in?”
6) “Is there financial aid?”
Without exception, as can be seen in

Table 1 (column 3), all of the questions
were answered. No matter how rushed

they were, all respondents not only
maintained eye contact, but stopped to
talk. Indeed, many of the respondents
went out of their way to direct or take
the questioner to the office she was
seeking, to try to locate “Fish Annex,”
or to discuss with her the possibilities
of being admitted to the university.

Similar data, also shown in Table 1
(columns 4, 5, and 6), were obtained
in the hospital. Here too, the young
lady came prepared with six questions.
After the first question, however, she
remarked to 18 of her respondents
(column 4), “I’m looking for a psy-
chiatrist,” and to 15 others (column
5), “I’m looking for an internist.” Ten
other respondents received no inserted
comment (column 6). The general de-
gree of cooperative responses is con-
siderably higher for these university
groups than it was for pseudopatients
in psychiatric hospitals. Even so, differ-
ences are apparent within the medical
school setting. Once having indicated
that she was looking for a psychiatrist,
the degree of cooperation elicited was
less than when she sought an internist.

Powerlessness and Depersonalization

Eye contact and verbal contact re-
flect concern and individuation; their
absence, avoidance and depersonaliza-
tion. The data I have presented do not
do justice to the rich daily encounters
that grew up around matters of deper-
sonalization and avoidance. I have rec-

ords of patients who were beaten by
staff for the sin of having initiated ver-

255

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bal contact. During my own experience,
for example, one patient was beaten in
the presence of other patients for hav-
ing approached an attendant and told
him, “I like you.” Occasionally, punish-
ment meted out to patients for misde-
meanors seemed so excessive that it

could not be justified by the most radi-
cal interpretations of psychiatric canon.
Nevertheless, they appeared to go un-
questioned. Tempers were often short.
A patient who had not heard a call for
medication would be roundly excori-
ated, and the morning attendants would
often wake patients with, “Come on,
you m—–f—–s, out of bed!”

Neither anecdotal nor “hard” data

can convey the overwhelming sense of
powerlessness which invades the indi-
vidual as he is continually exposed to
the depersonalization of the psychiatric
hospital. It hardly matters which psy-
chiatric hospital-the excellent public
ones and the very plush private hospital
were better than the rural and shabby
ones in this regard, but, again, the
features that psychiatric hospitals had
in common overwhelmed by far their
apparent differences.

Powerlessness was evident every-
where. The patient is deprived of many
of his legal rights by dint of his psy-
chiatric commitment (21). He is shorn
of credibility by virtue of his psychiatric
label. His freedom of movement is re-
stricted. He cannot initiate contact with

the staff, but may only respond to such
overtures as they make. Personal pri-
vacy is minimal. Patient quarters and
possessions can be entered and ex-
amined by any staff member, for what-
ever reason. His personal history and
anguish is available to any staff member
(often including the “grey lady” and
“candy striper” volunteer) who chooses
to read his folder, regardless of their
therapeutic relationship to him. His per-
sonal hygiene and waste evacuation are
often monitored. The water closets may
have no doors.

At times, depersonalization reached
such proportions that pseudopatients
had the sense that they were invisible,
or at least unworthy of account. Upon
being admitted, I and other pseudo-
patients took the initial physical exami-
nations in a semipublic room, where
staff members went about their own
business as if we were not there.

On the ward, attendants delivered
verbal and occasionally serious physical
abuse to patients in the presence of
other observing patients, some of whom
(the pseudopatients) were writing it all

256

down. Abusive behavior, on the other
hand, terminated quite abruptly when
other staff members were known to be

coming. Staff are credible witnesses.
Patients are not.

A nurse unbuttoned her uniform to

adjust her brassiere in the presence of
an entire ward of viewing men. One did
not have the sense that she was being
seductive. Rather, she didn’t notice us.
A group of staff persons might point to
a patient in the dayroom and discuss
him animatedly, as if he were not there.

One illuminating instance of deper-
sonalization and invisibility occurred
with regard to medications. All told,
the pseudopatients were administered
nearly 2100 pills, including Elavil,
Stelazine, Compazine, and Thorazine,
to name but a few. (That such a variety
of medications should have been ad-

ministered to patients presenting identi-
cal symptoms is itself worthy of note.)
Only two were swallowed. The rest
were either pocketed or deposited in
the toilet. The pseudopatients were not
alone in this. Although I have no pre-
cise records on how many patients
rejected their medications, the pseudo-
patients frequently found the medica-
tions of other patients in the toilet
before they deposited their own. As
long as they were cooperative, their
behavior and the pseudopatients’ own
in this matter, as in other important
matters, went unnoticed throughout.

Reactions to such depersonalization
among pseudopatients were intense. Al-
though they had come to the hospital
as participant observers and were fully
aware that they did not “belong,” they
nevertheless found themselves caught
up in and fighting the process of de-
personalization. Some examples: a grad-
uate student in psychology asked his
wife to bring his textbooks to the hos-
pital so he could “catch up on his
homework”-this despite the elaborate
precautions taken to conceal his profes-
sional association. The same student,

who had trained for quite some time
to get into the hospital, and who had
looked forward to the experience, “re-
membered” some drag races that he
had wanted to see on the weekend and
insisted that he be discharged by that
time. Another pseudopatient attempted
a romance with a nurse. Subsequently,
he informed the staff that he was ap-
plying for admission to graduate school
in psychology and was very likely to be
admitted, since a graduate professor
was one of his regular hospital visitors.
The same person began to engage in

psychotherapy with other patients-all
of this as a way of becoming a person
in an impersonal environment.

The Sources of Depersonalization

What are the origins of depersonali-
zation? I have already mentioned two.
First are attitudes held by all of us
toward the mentally ill-including those
who treat them-attitudes character-

ized by fear, distrust, and horrible ex-
pectations on the one hand, and benev-
olent intentions on the other. Our

ambivalence leads, in this instance as
in others, to avoidance.

Second, and not entirely separate,
the hierarchical structure of the psy-
chiatric hospital facilitates depersonali-
zation. Those who are at the top have
least to do with patients, and their be-
havior inspires the rest of the staff.
Average daily contact with psychia-
trists, psychologists, residents, and
physicians combined ranged from 3.9
to 25.1 minutes, with an overall mean
of 6.8 (six pseudopatients over a total
of 129 days of hospitalization). In-
cluded in this average are time spent
in the admissions interview, ward meet-
ings in the presence of a senior staff
member, group and individual psycho-
therapy contacts, case presentation con-
ferences, and discharge meetings.
Clearly, patients do not spend much
time in interpersonal contact with doc-
toral staff. And doctoral staff serve as

models for nurses and attendants.

There are probably other sources.
Psychiatric installations are presently in
serious financial straits. Staff shortages
are pervasive, staff time at a premium.
Something has to give, and that some-
thing is patient contact. Yet, while
financial stresses are realities, too much
can be made of them. I have the im-

pression that the psychological forces
that result in depersonalization are
much stronger than the fiscal ones and
that the addition of more staff would

not correspondingly improve patient
care in this regard. The incidence of
staff meetings and the enormous
amount of record-keeping on patients,
for example, have not been as sub-
stantially reduced as has patient con-
tact. Priorities exist, even during hard
times. Patient contact is not a signifi-
cant priority in the traditional psychia-
tric hospital, and fiscal pressures do not
account for this. Avoidance and de-

personalization may.
Heavy reliance upon psychotropic

SCIENCE. VOL. 179

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medication tacitly contributes to deper-
sonalization by convincing staff that
treatment is indeed being conducted
and that further patient contact may
not be necessary. Even here, however,
caution needs to be exercised in under-

standing the role of psychotropic drugs.
If patients were powerful rather than
powerless, if they were viewed as inter-
esting individuals rather than diagnostic
entities, if they were socially significant
rather than social lepers,. if their an-
guish truly and wholly compelled our
sympathies and concerns, would we
not seek contact with them, despite the
availability of medications? Perhaps for
the pleasure of it all?

The Consequences of Labeling

and Depersonalization

Whenever the ratio of what is known
to what needs to be known approaches
zero, we tend to invent “knowledge”
and assume that we understand more

than we actually do. We seem unable
to acknowledge that we simply don’t
know. The needs for diagnosis and
remediation of behavioral and emo-

tional problems are enormous. But
rather than acknowledge that we are
just embarking on understanding, we
continue to label patients “schizo-
phrenic,” “manic-depressive,” and “in-
sane,” as if in those words we had
captured the essence of understanding.
The facts of the matter are that we

have known for a long time that diag-
noses are often not useful or reliable,
but we have nevertheless continued to

use them. We now know that we can-

not distinguish insanity from sanity. It
is depressing to consider how that in-
formation will be used.

Not merely depressing, but frighten-
ing. How many people, one wonders,
are sane but not recognized as such in
our psychiatric institutions? How many
have been needlessly stripped of their
privileges of citizenship, from the right
to vote and drive to that of handling
their own accounts? How many have
feigned insanity in order to avoid the
criminal consequences of their behav-
ior, and, conversely, how many would
rather stand trial than live interminably
in a psychiatric hospital-but are
wrongly thought to be mentally ill?
How many have been stigmatized by
well-intentioned, but nevertheless erro-
neous, diagnoses? On the last point,
recall again that a “type 2 error” in
psychiatric diagnosis does not have the

19 JANUARY 1973

same consequences it does in medical
diagnosis. A diagnosis of cancer that
has been found to be in error is cause

for celebration. But psychiatric diag-
noses are rarely found to be in error.
The label sticks, a mark of inadequacy
forever.

Finally, how many patients might be
“sane” outside the psychiatric hospital
but seem insane in it-not because

craziness resides in them, as it were,
but because they are responding to a
bizarre setting, one that may be unique
to institutions which harbor nether

people? Goffman (4) calls the process
of socialization to such institutions

“mortification”-an apt metaphor that
includes the processes of depersonali-
zation that have been described here.

And while it is impossible to know
whether the pseudopatients’ responses
to these processes are characteristic of
all inmates-they were, after all, not
real patients-it is difficult to believe
that these processes of socialization to
a psychiatric hospital provide useful
attitudes or habits of response for liv-
ing in the “real world.”

Summary and Conclusions

It is clear that we cannot distinguish
the sane from the insane in psychiatric
hospitals. The hospital itself imposes a
special environment in which the mean-
ings of behavior can easily be misunder-
stood. The consequences to patients
hospitalized in such an environment-
the powerlessness, depersonalization,
segregation, mortification, and self-
labeling-seem undoubtedly counter-
therapeutic.

I do not, even now, understand this
problem well enough to perceive solu-
tions. But two matters seem to have
some promise. The first concerns the
proliferation of community mental
health facilities, of crisis intervention
centers, of the human potential move-
ment, and of behavior therapies that,
for all of their own problems, tend to
avoid psychiatric labels, to focus on
specific problems and behaviors, and to
retain the individual in a relatively non-
pejorative environment. Clearly, to the
extent that we refrain from sending the
distressed to insane places, our impres-
sions of them are less likely to be dis-
torted. (The risk of distorted percep-
tions, it seems to me, is always present,
since we are much more sensitive to an
individual’s behaviors and verbaliza-
tions than we are to the subtle con-

textual stimuli that often promote them.
At issue here is a matter of magnitude.
And, as I have shown, the magnitude
of distortion is exceedingly high in the
extreme context that is a psychiatric
hospital.)

The second matter that might prove
promising speaks to the need to in-
crease the sensitivity of mental health
workers and researchers to the Catch

22 position of psychiatric patients.
Simply reading materials in this area
will be of help to some such workers
and researchers. For others, directly
experiencing the impact of psychiatric
hospitalization will be of enormous use.
Clearly, further research into the social
psychology of such total institutions
will both facilitate treatment and

deepen understanding.
I and the other pseudopatients in the

psychiatric setting had distinctly nega-
tive reactions. We do not pretend to
describe the subjective experiences of
true patients. Theirs may be different
from ours, particularly with the pas-
sage of time and the necessary process
of adaptation to one’s environment. But
we can and do speak to the relatively
more objective indices of treatment
within the hospital. It could be a mis-
take, and a very unfortunate one, to
consider that what happened to us de-
rived from malice or stupidity on the
part of the staff. Quite the contrary,
our overwhelming impression of them
was of people who really cared, who
were committed and who were uncom-

monly intelligent. Where they failed,
as they sometimes did painfully, it
would be more accurate to attribute
those failures to the environment in

which they, too, found themselves than
to personal callousness. Their percep-
tions and behavior were controlled by
the situation, rather than being moti-
vated by a malicious disposition. In a
more benign environment, one that was
less attached to global diagnosis, their
behaviors and judgments might have
been more benign and effective.

References and Notes

1. P. Ash, J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol. 44, 272
(1949); A. T. Beck, Amer. J. Psychiat. 119,
210 (1962); A. T. Boisen, Psychiatry 2, 233
(1938); N. Kreitman, J. Ment. Sci. 107, 876
(1961); N. Kreitman, P. Sainsbury, J. Morrisey,
J. Towers, J, Scrivener, ibid., p. 887; H. O.
Schmitt and C. P. Fonda, J. Abnorm. Soc.
Psychol. 52, 262 (1956); W. Seeman, J. Nerv.
Ment. Dis. 118, 541 (1953). For an analysis
of these artifacts and summaries of the dis-
putes, see J. Zubin, Annu. Rev. Psychol. 18,
373 (1967); L. Phillips and J. G. Draguns,
ibid. 22, 447 (1971).

2. R. Benedict, J. Gen. Psychol. 10, 59 (1934).
3. See in this regard H. Becker, Outsiders:

Studies in the Sociology of Deviance (Free
Press, New York, 1963); B. M. Braginsky,

257

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D. D. Braginsky, K. Ring, Methods of
Madness: The Mental Hospital as a Last
Resort (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New
York, 1969); G. M. Crocetti and P. V.
Lemkau, Amer. Sociol. Rev. 30, 577 (1965);
E. Goffman, Behavior in Public Places (Free
Press, New York, 1964); R. D. Laing, The.
Divided Self: A Study of Sanity and Madness
(Quadrangle, Chicago, 1960); D. L. Phillips,
Amer. Sociol. Rev. 28, 963 (1963); T. R.
Sarbin, Psychol. Today 6, 18 (1972); E. Schur,
Amer. I. Sociol. 75, 309 (1969); T. Szasz,
Law, Liberty and Psychiatry (Macmillan,
New York, 1963); The Myth of Mental Illness:
Foundations of a Theory of Mental Illness
(Hoeber Harper, New York, 1963). For a
critique of some of these views, see W. R.
Gove, Amer. Sociol. Rev. 35, 873 (1970).

4. E. Goffman, Asylums (Doubleday, Garden
City, N.Y., 1961).

5. T. J. Scheff, Being Mentally Ill: A Sociologi-
cal Theory (Aldine, Chicago, 1966).

6. Data from a ninth pseudopatient are not
incorporated in this report because, although
his sanity went undetected, he falsified aspects
of his personal history, including his marital
status and parental relationships. His experi-
mental behaviors therefore were not identical
to those of the other pseudopatients.

7. A. Barry, Bellevue Is a State of Mind (Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1971);
I. Belknap, Human Problems of a State Mental
Hospital (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956);
W. Caudill, F. C. Redlich, H. R. Gilmore,
E. B. Brody, Amer. J. Orthopsychiat. 22, 314
(1952); A. R. Goldmnan, R. H. Bohr, T. A.
Steinberg, Prof. Psychol. 1, 427 (1970); un-
authored, Roche Report 1 (No. 13), 8
(1971).

8. Beyond the personal difficulties that the
pseudopatient is likely to experience in the
hospital, there are legal and social ones that,
combined, require considerable attention be-
fore entry. For example, once admitted to a
psychiatric institution, it is difficult, if not
impossible, to be discharged on short notice,

D. D. Braginsky, K. Ring, Methods of
Madness: The Mental Hospital as a Last
Resort (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New
York, 1969); G. M. Crocetti and P. V.
Lemkau, Amer. Sociol. Rev. 30, 577 (1965);
E. Goffman, Behavior in Public Places (Free
Press, New York, 1964); R. D. Laing, The.
Divided Self: A Study of Sanity and Madness
(Quadrangle, Chicago, 1960); D. L. Phillips,
Amer. Sociol. Rev. 28, 963 (1963); T. R.
Sarbin, Psychol. Today 6, 18 (1972); E. Schur,
Amer. I. Sociol. 75, 309 (1969); T. Szasz,
Law, Liberty and Psychiatry (Macmillan,
New York, 1963); The Myth of Mental Illness:
Foundations of a Theory of Mental Illness
(Hoeber Harper, New York, 1963). For a
critique of some of these views, see W. R.
Gove, Amer. Sociol. Rev. 35, 873 (1970).

4. E. Goffman, Asylums (Doubleday, Garden
City, N.Y., 1961).

5. T. J. Scheff, Being Mentally Ill: A Sociologi-
cal Theory (Aldine, Chicago, 1966).

6. Data from a ninth pseudopatient are not
incorporated in this report because, although
his sanity went undetected, he falsified aspects
of his personal history, including his marital
status and parental relationships. His experi-
mental behaviors therefore were not identical
to those of the other pseudopatients.

7. A. Barry, Bellevue Is a State of Mind (Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1971);
I. Belknap, Human Problems of a State Mental
Hospital (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956);
W. Caudill, F. C. Redlich, H. R. Gilmore,
E. B. Brody, Amer. J. Orthopsychiat. 22, 314
(1952); A. R. Goldmnan, R. H. Bohr, T. A.
Steinberg, Prof. Psychol. 1, 427 (1970); un-
authored, Roche Report 1 (No. 13), 8
(1971).

8. Beyond the personal difficulties that the
pseudopatient is likely to experience in the
hospital, there are legal and social ones that,
combined, require considerable attention be-
fore entry. For example, once admitted to a
psychiatric institution, it is difficult, if not
impossible, to be discharged on short notice,

state law to the contrary notwithstanding. I
was not sensitive to these difficulties at the
outset of the project, nor to the personal and
situational emergencies that can arise, but
later a writ of habeas corpus was prepared
for each of the entering pseudopatients and
an attorney was kept “on call” during every
hospitalization. I am grateful to John Kaplan
and Robert Bartels for legal advice and
assistance in these matters.

9. However distasteful such concealment is, it
was a necessary first step to examining these
questions. Without concealment, there would
have been no way to know how valid these
experiences were; nor was there any way of
knowing whether whatever detections oc-
curred were a tribute to the diagnostic
acumen of the staff or to the hospital’s
rumor network. Obviously, since my con-
cerns are general ones that cut across indi-
vidual hospitals and staffs, I have respected
their anonymity and have eliminated clues
that might lead to their identification.

10. Interestingly, of the 12 admissions, 11 were
diagnosed as schizophrenic and one, with the
identical symptomatology, as manic-depressive
psychosis. This diagnosis has a more favorable
prognosis, and it was given by the only
private hospital in our sample. On the rela-
tions between social class and psychiatric
diagnosis, see A. deB. Hollingshead and
F. C. Redlich, Social Class and Mental Illness:
A Community Study (Wiley, New York,
1958).

11. It is possible, of course, that patients have
qui’te broad latitudes in diagnosis and there-
fore are inclined to call many people sane, even
those whose behavior is patently aberrant.
However, although we have no hard data on
this matter, it was our distinot impression that
this was not the case. In many instances,
patients not only singled us out for attention,
but came to imitate our behaviors and styles.

12. J. Cumming and E. Cumming, Community
Ment. Health 1, 135 (1965); A. Farina and
K. Ring, J. Abnorm. Psychol. 70, 47 (1965);

state law to the contrary notwithstanding. I
was not sensitive to these difficulties at the
outset of the project, nor to the personal and
situational emergencies that can arise, but
later a writ of habeas corpus was prepared
for each of the entering pseudopatients and
an attorney was kept “on call” during every
hospitalization. I am grateful to John Kaplan
and Robert Bartels for legal advice and
assistance in these matters.

9. However distasteful such concealment is, it
was a necessary first step to examining these
questions. Without concealment, there would
have been no way to know how valid these
experiences were; nor was there any way of
knowing whether whatever detections oc-
curred were a tribute to the diagnostic
acumen of the staff or to the hospital’s
rumor network. Obviously, since my con-
cerns are general ones that cut across indi-
vidual hospitals and staffs, I have respected
their anonymity and have eliminated clues
that might lead to their identification.

10. Interestingly, of the 12 admissions, 11 were
diagnosed as schizophrenic and one, with the
identical symptomatology, as manic-depressive
psychosis. This diagnosis has a more favorable
prognosis, and it was given by the only
private hospital in our sample. On the rela-
tions between social class and psychiatric
diagnosis, see A. deB. Hollingshead and
F. C. Redlich, Social Class and Mental Illness:
A Community Study (Wiley, New York,
1958).

11. It is possible, of course, that patients have
qui’te broad latitudes in diagnosis and there-
fore are inclined to call many people sane, even
those whose behavior is patently aberrant.
However, although we have no hard data on
this matter, it was our distinot impression that
this was not the case. In many instances,
patients not only singled us out for attention,
but came to imitate our behaviors and styles.

12. J. Cumming and E. Cumming, Community
Ment. Health 1, 135 (1965); A. Farina and
K. Ring, J. Abnorm. Psychol. 70, 47 (1965);

H. E. Freeman and 0. G. Simmons, The
Mental Patient Comes Home (Wiley, New
York, 1963); W J. Johannsen, Ment. Hygiene
53, 218 (1969); A. S. Linsky, Soc. Psychiat. 5,
166 (1970).

13. S. E. Asch, J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol. 41, 258
(1946); Social Psychology (Prentice-Hall, New
York, 1952).

14. See also I. N. Mensh and J. Wishner, J.
Personality 16, 188 (1947); J. Wishner,
Psychol. Rev. 67, 96 (1960); J. S. Bruner and
R. Tagiuri, in Handbook of Social Psychology,
G. Lindzey, Ed. (Addison-Wesley, Cambridge,
Mass., 1954), vol. 2, pp. 634-654; J. S. Bruner,
D. Shapiro, R. Tagiuri, in Person Perception
and Interpersonal Behavior, R. Tagiuri and
L. Petrullo, Eds. (Stanford Univ. Press, Stan-
ford, Calif., 1958), pp. 277-288.

15. For an example of a similar self-fulfilling
prophecy, in this instance dealing with the
“central” trait of intelligence, see R. Rosen-
thal and L. Jacobson, Pygmalion in the
Classroom (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New
York, 1968).

16. E. Zigler and L. Phillips, J. Abnorm. Soc.
Psychol. 63, 69 (1961). See also R. K.
Freudenberg and J. P. Robertson, A.M.A.
Arch. Neurol. Psychiatr. 76, 14 (1956).

17. W. Mischel, Personality and Assessment
(Wiley, New York, 1968).

18. The most recent and unfortunate instance of
this tenet is that of Senator Thomas Eagleton.

19. T. R. Sarbin and J. C. Mancuso, J. Clin.
Consult. Psychol. 35, 159 (1970); T. R. Sarbin,
ibid. 31, 447 (1967); J. C. Nunnally, Jr.,
Popular Conceptions of Mental Health (Holt,
Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1961).

20. A. H. Stanton and M. S. Schwartz, The
Mental Hospital: A Study of Institutional
Participation in Psychiatric Illness and Treat-
ment (Basic, New York, 1954).

21. D. B. Wexler and S. E. Scoville, Ariz. Law
Rev. 13, 1 (1971).

22. I thank W. Mischel, E. Ome, and M. S.
Rosenhan for comments on an earlier draft
of this manuscript.

H. E. Freeman and 0. G. Simmons, The
Mental Patient Comes Home (Wiley, New
York, 1963); W J. Johannsen, Ment. Hygiene
53, 218 (1969); A. S. Linsky, Soc. Psychiat. 5,
166 (1970).

13. S. E. Asch, J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol. 41, 258
(1946); Social Psychology (Prentice-Hall, New
York, 1952).

14. See also I. N. Mensh and J. Wishner, J.
Personality 16, 188 (1947); J. Wishner,
Psychol. Rev. 67, 96 (1960); J. S. Bruner and
R. Tagiuri, in Handbook of Social Psychology,
G. Lindzey, Ed. (Addison-Wesley, Cambridge,
Mass., 1954), vol. 2, pp. 634-654; J. S. Bruner,
D. Shapiro, R. Tagiuri, in Person Perception
and Interpersonal Behavior, R. Tagiuri and
L. Petrullo, Eds. (Stanford Univ. Press, Stan-
ford, Calif., 1958), pp. 277-288.

15. For an example of a similar self-fulfilling
prophecy, in this instance dealing with the
“central” trait of intelligence, see R. Rosen-
thal and L. Jacobson, Pygmalion in the
Classroom (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New
York, 1968).

16. E. Zigler and L. Phillips, J. Abnorm. Soc.
Psychol. 63, 69 (1961). See also R. K.
Freudenberg and J. P. Robertson, A.M.A.
Arch. Neurol. Psychiatr. 76, 14 (1956).

17. W. Mischel, Personality and Assessment
(Wiley, New York, 1968).

18. The most recent and unfortunate instance of
this tenet is that of Senator Thomas Eagleton.

19. T. R. Sarbin and J. C. Mancuso, J. Clin.
Consult. Psychol. 35, 159 (1970); T. R. Sarbin,
ibid. 31, 447 (1967); J. C. Nunnally, Jr.,
Popular Conceptions of Mental Health (Holt,
Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1961).

20. A. H. Stanton and M. S. Schwartz, The
Mental Hospital: A Study of Institutional
Participation in Psychiatric Illness and Treat-
ment (Basic, New York, 1954).

21. D. B. Wexler and S. E. Scoville, Ariz. Law
Rev. 13, 1 (1971).

22. I thank W. Mischel, E. Ome, and M. S.
Rosenhan for comments on an earlier draft
of this manuscript.

NEWS AND COMMENT

AAAS Council Meeting: Vietnam

Resolutions; Bylaws Voted
7 /

NEWS AND COMMENT

AAAS Council Meeting: Vietnam

Resolutions; Bylaws Voted
7 /

In an unprecedented expression of
political sentiment, the governing coun-
cil of AAAS adopted a strongly worded
resolution in its business meeting of 30
December condemning the United
States’ continued involvement in the

Vietnam war and the application of
American science and technology to
the “wanton destruction of man and

environment.”

The council passed a second war-
related resolution urging Congress to
support a major study, by the Na-
tional Academy of Sciences, of the
war’s impact on the people and the
environment of Indochina. At the same

time, the council in effect voted its
own termination by approving a new
and much-discussed set of bylaws that
will drastically reduce the size of the
council and allow the general member-

258

In an unprecedented expression of
political sentiment, the governing coun-
cil of AAAS adopted a strongly worded
resolution in its business meeting of 30
December condemning the United
States’ continued involvement in the

Vietnam war and the application of
American science and technology to
the “wanton destruction of man and

environment.”

The council passed a second war-
related resolution urging Congress to
support a major study, by the Na-
tional Academy of Sciences, of the
war’s impact on the people and the
environment of Indochina. At the same

time, the council in effect voted its
own termination by approving a new
and much-discussed set of bylaws that
will drastically reduce the size of the
council and allow the general member-

258

ship of the AAAS to elect it. The
AAAS thereby completed what former
chairman of the board Mina Rees and

chief executive officer William Bevan

called “a major step toward becoming
a genuine membership organization.”

The council’s antiwar resolution was

the first in which the AAAS has taken

an unqualified stand in opposition to
U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.
Past councils have limited themselves

to expressions of “concern,” particular-
ly about the adverse effects of defoli-
ants.

This year’s bluntly phrased resolution
was introduced as an “emergency mo-
tion” by seven council delegates, includ-
ing Everett Mendelsohn, a Harvard
historian of science and a AAAS vice

president, and E. W. Pfeiffer, a Univer-
sity of Montana zoologist who was in-

ship of the AAAS to elect it. The
AAAS thereby completed what former
chairman of the board Mina Rees and

chief executive officer William Bevan

called “a major step toward becoming
a genuine membership organization.”

The council’s antiwar resolution was

the first in which the AAAS has taken

an unqualified stand in opposition to
U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.
Past councils have limited themselves

to expressions of “concern,” particular-
ly about the adverse effects of defoli-
ants.

This year’s bluntly phrased resolution
was introduced as an “emergency mo-
tion” by seven council delegates, includ-
ing Everett Mendelsohn, a Harvard
historian of science and a AAAS vice

president, and E. W. Pfeiffer, a Univer-
sity of Montana zoologist who was in-

strumental in arousing the association’s
interest in the herbicide issue several

years ago.

During a brief debate, the resolution
was modified slightly at the suggestion
of Lewis M. Branscomb, the former
head of the National Bureau of Stan-

dards and now the IBM Corporation’s
chief scientist. Branscomb urged that
two critical references to U.S. military
activity in Thailand be deleted, on the
grounds that the American presence
there was not analogous to U.S. involve-
ment in Vietnam. The council con-

sented, and the midified resolution car-
ried by a vote of 80 to 41 with a large
but uncertain number of abstentions,
including those of Glenn Seaborg, the
former chairman of the Atomic Energy
Commission, and others seated at the
dais. Only about 170 of the council’s
approximately 530 members were pres-
ent.

The full text of the resolution is as
follows:

The Council of the AAAS condemns
the United States’ continued participation
in the war in Vietnam, heightened in
the post-election bombing escalation.

As scientists we cannot remain silent

SCIENCE, VOL. 179

strumental in arousing the association’s
interest in the herbicide issue several

years ago.

During a brief debate, the resolution
was modified slightly at the suggestion
of Lewis M. Branscomb, the former
head of the National Bureau of Stan-

dards and now the IBM Corporation’s
chief scientist. Branscomb urged that
two critical references to U.S. military
activity in Thailand be deleted, on the
grounds that the American presence
there was not analogous to U.S. involve-
ment in Vietnam. The council con-

sented, and the midified resolution car-
ried by a vote of 80 to 41 with a large
but uncertain number of abstentions,
including those of Glenn Seaborg, the
former chairman of the Atomic Energy
Commission, and others seated at the
dais. Only about 170 of the council’s
approximately 530 members were pres-
ent.

The full text of the resolution is as
follows:

The Council of the AAAS condemns
the United States’ continued participation
in the war in Vietnam, heightened in
the post-election bombing escalation.

As scientists we cannot remain silent

SCIENCE, VOL. 179

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  • Contents
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  • Issue Table of Contents
    • Science, Vol. 179, No. 4070, Jan. 19, 1973, pp. 219-318
      • Front Matter [pp. 219-314]
      • Letters
        • Esophageal Cancer [p. 228]
        • Hydrogen Embrittlement [pp. 228-230]
        • Drug Abuse [p. 230]
      • Departure of the President’s Science Adviser [p. 233]
      • Earliest Radiocarbon Dates for Domesticated Animals [pp. 235-239]
      • Maternally Acquired Runt Disease [pp. 240-243]
      • Gene Flow and Population Differentiation [pp. 243-250]
      • On Being Sane in Insane Places [pp. 250-258]
      • News and Comment
        • AAAS Council Meeting: Vietnam Resolutions; Bylaws Voted [pp. 258-262]
        • Training Grants, Peer Review in Peril? [p. 259]
        • Briefing [pp. 260-261]
        • Truman Era: Formative Years for Federal Science [pp. 262-265]
        • Area Studies under the Axe [p. 263]
        • News & Notes [p. 264]
        • Appointments [p. 265]
      • Research News
        • Vitamin B$_{12}$: After 25 Years, the First Synthesis [pp. 266-267]
      • Book Reviews
        • The NIH Phenomenon [pp. 270-272]
        • Fluoroacetate, Etc. [pp. 272-273]
        • Developmental Process [p. 273]
        • Exercise Physiology [pp. 273-274]
        • Books Received [pp. 274-314]
      • Reports
        • Lunar Shape via the Apollo Laser Altimeter [pp. 275-278]
        • Source Parameters for Stick-Slip and for Earthquakes [pp. 278-280]
        • The Hydroperoxyl Radical in Atmospheric Chemical Dynamics: Reaction with Carbon Monoxide [pp. 280-282]
        • Deep-Sea Benthic Community Respiration: An in situ Study at 1850 Meters [pp. 282-283]
        • Convergent Projection of Three Separate Thalamic Nuclei on to a Single Cortical Area [pp. 283-285]
        • Three-Dimensional Structure of Yeast Phenylalanine Transfer RNA: Folding of the Polynucleotide Chain [pp. 285-288]
        • Radiation Effects in Free-Ranging Pocket Mice, Perognathus parvus, during the Breeding Season [pp. 289-291]
        • Lambda Phage DNA: Joining of a Chemically Synthesized Cohesive End [pp. 291-293]
        • Gonadal Effects of Vasectomy and Vasoligation [pp. 293-295]
        • Collagen Synthesis in vitro by Embryonic Spinal Cord Epithelium [pp. 295-297]
        • Induction of Choline Phosphotransferase and Lecithin Synthesis in the Fetal Lung by Corticosteroids [pp. 297-298]
        • Rickettsia-like Bacterium Associated with Pierce’s Disease of Grapes [pp. 298-300]
        • Urinary Catecholamine Metabolites during Behavioral Changes in a Patient with Manic-Depressive Cycles [pp. 300-302]
        • Sleep and Memory [pp. 302-304]
        • Reexamination of the Biochemical Transfer of Relational Learning [pp. 305-306]
        • Food Habits of Early Man: Balance between Hunting and Gathering [pp. 306-307]
        • Newborn Walking: Additional Data [p. 307]
      • Back Matter [pp. 315-318]
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