Will the Real Patient Please Speak Up?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 65–66. Reviews the book, Endangered Hope: Experiences in Psychiatric Aftercare Facilities by David K. Reynolds and Norman L. Farberow (1977). This book reports on a late phase in the moral career of the mental patient–residence in an aftercare facility. The authors term their method of investigation as experiential research. Reynolds and Farberow discuss the problems of experiential research, noting particularly issues of replication and generalization. The varying requirements of their pseudopatient role, (observation and introspection in addition to participation), necessarily limited their ability to take the role of the patient. The potential value of this approach lies in the perspicacity of the observations. Unfortunately, many of the ones reported were uninformative and often trivial. The reviewer found Summers's observations to be the more interesting of the two. Kent's were sometimes laced with somewhat naive research speculations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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