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The psychology behind the placebo effect just got stranger


Scientist

The psychology behind the placebo effect just got stranger

Health 9 January 2020 By Jason Arunn Murugesu Placebos can be effective even when people don’t know how they workballyscanlon/GettyWe know that placebo drugs – often sugar pills with no medical benefit – can relieve symptoms, even if those taking them are told that they aren’t taking medicine. To work we had thought the person…

The psychology behind the placebo effect just got stranger


Health



9 January 2020

By Jason Arunn Murugesu

New Scientist Default Image

Placebos can be effective even when people don’t know how they work

ballyscanlon/Getty

We know that placebo drugs – often sugar pills with no medical benefit – can relieve symptoms, even if those taking them are told that they aren’t taking medicine. To work we had thought the person taking the placebo had to understand why it can be effective. But it may be possible to get the benefits of placebos without such detailed explanations.

One reason doctors rarely use such placebos in practice is that they require too much explanation. But Tobias Schneider at the University of Basel in Switzerland …

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