Everyday buttons that only provide the illusion of control

By CHRISTOPHER MELE It is a reflex born of years of habit: You see a button, press it and then something happens. The world is filled with them, such as doorbells, vending machines, calculators and telephones. But some buttons we regularly rely on to get results are mere artifices — placebos that promote an illusionContinue reading “Everyday buttons that only provide the illusion of control”

A more expensive placebo works better than a cheaper one.

Results of a small study suggest that Parkinson’s patients seem to improve if they think they’re taking a costly medication. The findings have been published online Jan. 28 in Neurology. In the study, 12 patients had their movement symptoms evaluated hourly, for about four hours after receiving each of the placebos. On average, patients hadContinue reading “A more expensive placebo works better than a cheaper one.”

Placebo Effect May Account for Half of Drug’s Efficacy

Even when a medication works, half of its impact on a patient may be due to one aspect of the placebo effect: the positive message that a doctor provides when prescribing the treatment, according to a new study. Researchers designed an elaborate study, in which 66 people suffering from migraine headaches were given either aContinue reading “Placebo Effect May Account for Half of Drug’s Efficacy”

Placebos Work Better for Nice People

Having an agreeable personality might make you popular at work and lucky in love. It may also enhance your brain’s built-in painkilling powers, boosting the placebo effect. Researchers at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina and the University of Maryland administered standard personality tests to 50 healthy volunteers, identifying general traits suchContinue reading “Placebos Work Better for Nice People”