A new piece in History of Psychiatry will interest AHP readers: “Rosenhan revisited: successful scientific fraud,” Andrew Scull. Abstract:
The publication of David Rosenhan’s ‘On being sane in insane places’ in Science in 1973 played a crucial role in persuading the American Psychiatric Association to revise its diagnostic manual. The third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in its turn launched a revolution in American psychiatry whose reverberations continue to this day. Rosenhan’s paper continues to be cited hundreds of times a year, and its alleged findings are seen as crucial evidence of psychiatry’s failings. Yet based on the findings of an investigative journalist, Susannah Cahalan, and on records she shared with the author, we now know that this research is a spectacularly successful case of scientific fraud.