On the Troubling Trail of Psychology’s Pseudopatient Stunt

October 29, 2019

(Nature) – Rosenhan’s study had far-reaching and much-needed effects on psychiatric care in the United States and elsewhere. By the 1980s, most psychology textbooks were quoting it. It also influenced society more widely, and not always positively: in the law courts, for instance, it undermined the value of expert testimonies from psychiatrists. Now, in The Great Pretender, journalist Susannah Cahalan turns a fresh, critical eye on the experiment and the shockwaves it sent through the field and beyond.