Embrace Your Placebo Effect?

There’s a great article in Psychology Today about why and how placebos work, including some amazing facts, such as the fact that there is a “placebo heirarchy”:

* Placebo surgery works better than placebo injections
* Placebo injections work better than placebo pills
* Sham acupuncture treatment works better than a placebo pill
* Capsules work better than tablets
* Big pills work better than small

Give me PLACEBO
Image by loungerie via Flickr

* The more doses a day, the better
* The more expensive, the better
* The color of the pill makes a difference
* Telling the patient, “This will relieve your pain” works better than saying “This might help.”

The article then goes on to point out the fact that many medicines with marginal effectiveness may actually be working purely because of a placebo effect. Which raises, to the Doc Gurley Institute of Skeptical Paranoia, the issue of whether or not mass drug-company advertising is a form of collective placebo-ism (hey – is that a word?). What do you think? Have you been placebo-ed? Or are you just happy for anything that might help a medicine work better for you? Weigh in with the comments section!

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