Addicted To A Placebo
Did you know that people can be addicted to a placebo?
Placebos are fake treatments given to people–and they sometimes work as well or better than the “real thing.” When drugs are tested, they’re typically tested against a placebo to show that they’re more effective. (The way drug companies manipulate these results is another story.)
I’ve always been fascinated by the power of placebos. The video below highlights some of the more interesting and puzzling findings about them.
Is Hypnosis Just A Placebo?
The research I’ve seen indicates that while hypnosis may be related to the placebo effect and includes the placebo effect, it’s not only the placebo effect. For instance, a study published in Contemporary Hypnosis found that hypnotism was almost twice as effective as placebo (Contemporary Hypnosis, 26(2): 93-110, 2009).
Of course every treatment includes the placebo effect. Since every treatment does, what can we do to magnify the placebo effects in order to help people heal more quickly and fully? It brings up some interesting moral issues, doesn’t it?