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October 1964

Instrumented Role Playing in Psychiatric Training Laboratory

Author Affiliations

Houston VA Hospital and Baylor University College of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(4):400-410. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720280046007

Although role playing is used widely in psychiatric settings, instrumented role playing (IRP) is quite uncommon. As far as the author can determine, there is only a handful of psychiatric articles referring to IRP.1-3 IRP has been more widely used, however, in managerial and supervisory training.4-7

IRP is a simple but powerful technique, flexible enough to permit the examination and study of behavior in a wide variety of interpersonal situations, easily used with 20 to 30 individuals simultaneously, yet with impact. An outline of the critical elements involved in IRP is described in the present paper. To give perspective and substance to the outline, the procedures, materials, and results of an actual psychiatric role-playing experiment are also presented, since the focus of the present study is the use of IRP in a psychiatric setting.

Elements of the IRP Technique  1. The philosophy of the scientific experiment