Definition:

A response to a placebo, caused by subjects' belief that they are taking real drugs.


Quite Simply...


  • Presenting positive results even with a fake treatment
  • Reacting as if you had actually taken a drug
  • Thinking or acting like you're feeling better merely because you believe you are being affected by medications


Examples of the Placebo Effect


  • Someone is given a pill that the doctor says is a powerful painkiller (but it is really a sugar pill) feels reduced pain.
  • You give someone a non-alcoholic beer but you don't tell them that it is fake; therefore, they will probably still act as if they were drunk.
  • Close door buttons and crosswalk buttons in big cities, have no wiring, they just make people feel in control.
  • If a patient believes a treatment to be harmful, it can have negative effects; this is known as the nocebo effect.
  • Sometimes when people take a placebo pain reliever and report that their pain was reduced, the expectancy for the pain to be relieved led the brain to release pain stopping endorphins.
  • Many psychologists believe that the placebo effect may be due to classical conditioning, that we have been conditioned to expect recovery after taking pills.
  • Double-blind studies are used to determine if a drug actually works or if it is only the placebo effect kicking in. Group A would get sugar pills, and B would get the drug, but neither the patient nor the doctors know which patients are in which group until the end of the experiment.

See Also