something other than a field experiment as rosenhan used this method. what effects would the alternative method have on the results?
Can anybody suggest an alternative research method to rosenhan's study?
It would be very difficult to replicate Rosenhan's study since it was designed specifically to measure the effect of context on the diagnosis/retention of supposed mentally ill persons. That accounts for many of the findings that otherwise normal behaviors were interpreted in a fashion consistent with residence in such a facility, rather than as they might have been if the person exhibiting them were in some other location. The fact that the subjects had been admitted to a mental health facility is too germane to the research to remove it.
Reply:The study presupposes that a firm diagnosis of psychiatric illness can be made prior to institionalization since it presupposes any of the inpatients to be actually mentally ill. Yet the means by which pseudopatients gain entry to such institutions tends to dispute such a presupposition. How then are we to suppose that some "actually" mentally ill petients were mistakenly thought to be imposters? I would think a diagnosis of patients and pseudopatients on a one to one basis with several psychiatrists might reveal a more accurate indication of the extent to which labelling might affect diagnosis.