“We cannot distinguish the sane from the insane…”

My favorite decade is the 1970’s.  Partially because of the urban cowboy shirts.   But also because it was – by subjective evaluation – the most subversive decade.  This is the decade that gave us the original Bad News Bears, remember, one of the most subversive movies ever made.

Now for some subversive science from the 1970’s.  In 1973, D.L. Rosenhan and eight other “normal” people got themselves admitted – undercover – as patients at psychiatric hospitals.  After admission, they made every effort to act normally and to answer questions truthfully, staying on average over 3 weeks.

The doctors and nurses failed to realize that they were sane.  But the real patients in the hospital saw through the ruse.


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