Does sanity and insanity really exist? The article written by D.L. Rosenhan discusses this problem. The article is titled “On Being Sane in Insane Places.” Most people assume that they know how to tell the normal from the abnormal, but there is not sufficient evidence to make a difference of the two.
In 1934, maybe even before this time, Benedict suggested that abnormality and normality are not to be considered universal. The normal standards differ between cultures. Therefore the notions of what abnormality and normality are may not be as accurate as previous beliefs.
Another big question is if the characteristics that lead to diagnose the sane are within the patients or the environment. The sane have been found to have distinguishable characteristics. This has been found to be non-scientific and not valuable.
In order to help clarify what sane really is, scientist decided to get normal people to admit themselves into psychiatric hospitals. This will show weather sane people are discovered to be insane and how. Normality should be distinct enough to be detected no matter where the person is located or surrounded. The main experiment was to put eight sane people into twelve different hospitals by secrete admission.
The eight sane people were never revealed to be sane within the hospitals. They were said to be “in remission.” These accusations were only made by the hospital faculty. The other patients however often recognized the normality in the eight selected patients. Since the results obviously have some type of error, the diagnostic experiment is not reliable.
This experiment, among others, proved that we cannot distinguish clearly the sane from the insane. The hospital and the hospital employees provides an environment that can easily misinterpret behavior.