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Questions tagged [placebo]

A non-active treatment used in clinical trials so the effect of being treated can be distinguished from the effect the active treatment being tested. Necessary because the effect of being treated often induces significant improvement even when the treatment has no demonstrable activity.

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3 votes
1 answer

Did a prisoner die from a needle prick when he was told that it was a snake bite?

I read somewhere that there was a prisoner facing a death sentence sometime before the 1950s, on whom a psychological experiment was conducted. Experiment: He was blindfolded and told that he would be ...
noobs's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer

Does Chinese astrology influence death rates?

In Joseph Henrich's book The secret of our Success he discusses the importance of culture as a factor in the rise to success of Homo sapiens. In chapter 14 he specifically discusses examples where ...
matt_black's user avatar
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2 votes
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How can a skeptic benefit from placebo effect? [closed]

Gullible people believe in every new alternative medicine miraculous treatment procedures. For every one of then, you don't need to go too far to learn that the efficacy is not different from placebo ...
ariel's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers

Are expensive placebos more effective than cheap placebos?

In a recent Undercover Economist column in the Financial Times (The Ig Nobel prizes: in praise of ridiculous research), Tim Harford mentioned that there has been a study showing that cheap placebos ...
matt_black's user avatar
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34 votes
1 answer

Is the placebo effect getting stronger?

There has recently been a row about the marketing of pain killers. The makers of Nurofen have been accused of selling the same formulation at different prices for different conditions and claiming in ...
matt_black's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer

Is there a pressure point under the nose that can eliminate the urge to sneeze?

There's a pressure point under your nose that, if you press it, temporarily stops the sneeze reflex. One of several places this is ...
DarkLightA's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer

Have throat lozenges been shown to be ineffective?

I am currently suffering a sore throat. I have purchased some Betadine (gargleable iodine) which I believe and hope actually helps reduce the extent of the infection. At the risk of derision, I will ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
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28 votes
4 answers

Is the placebo effect dependent on the amount of belief in it?

For example, are people with habitually skeptical attitudes less likely to benefit from the placebo effect? Has this been studied? (For instance, one might seek a correlation based on professions ...
Larry OBrien's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer

Do placebos have an effect on ulcers

Do placebos have a measureable impact on healing gastric ulcers? On Ben Goldacre makes the claim: We know for example that two sugar pills a day are a more effective treatment for getting ...
Christian's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers

Is the placebo effect effective?

I've seen many studies comparing proposed cures to placebo, but what about any studies actually investigating the effectiveness of placebo effect itself? So, has there been any study as to the ...
luvieere's user avatar
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36 votes
1 answer

Can the placebo effect be observed in experiments conducted on animals or babies?

In a paper defending homeopathy, it is argued that the observed benefits of homeopathic treatments cannot be attributed to the placebo effect because the treatments elicit similar benefits when used ...
Monkey Tuesday's user avatar
42 votes
1 answer

Can I get high using binaural beats?

Some sites claim that you can get high using binaural beats: All I-Doser doses are tested by a panel of users who consider themselves experienced in binaural beat modification. A dose is not passed ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
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34 votes
2 answers

Did a nocebo study find that rashes could swap hands?

In an answer to another question, the following story was cited. Another interesting one that demonstrates both the placebo and nocebo effect in one study is a study done by Japanese researches on 57 ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
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67 votes
5 answers

Is the placebo effect a purely psychological effect?

The placebo effect plays a crucial role in clinical trials and in our understanding of medicine, but I have always had some difficulty in understanding how exactly it works. Is it a purely ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
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