Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 110–117

Diagnostic bias in community mental health

  • Maurice K. Temerlin


Mental health professionals and nonprofessionals observed an interview with a healthy man after hearing a renowned mental health professional, acting as a confederate, characterize him as psychotic. Both professional and nonprofessional subjects then tended to diagnose the healthy man as mentally ill, even though his behavior was healthy by multiple criteria. The biasing effect of prestige suggestion upon diagnosis is discussed in terms of the efficacy of psychiatric diagnosis to community mental health.


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  1. Hollingshead, A. B., & Redlich, F. C.Social class and mental illness: a community study. New York: Wiley, 1968.Google Scholar
  2. Szasz, T.The myth of mental illness. New York: Hoeber-Harper, 1961.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Behavioral Publications, Inc. 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurice K. Temerlin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OklahomaNorman

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