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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

You don't need a pill—psychological placebos work, too
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

You don't need a pill—psychological placebos work, too image

All placebos work—and that's true for the psychological type as well, researchers have found.

Placebo pills are often found to be as effective as the drug—suggesting it's the mind or perception of the person that matters more than the chemical agent—and the same is just as true for purely psychological placebos when nothing is physically being taken.

Researchers from the University of Basel tested the theory on a group of 421 people who were shown the colour green in a series of video experiments; however, half saw the colour without explanation and the rest saw it with a narrative that the colour was calming and had a positive effect on emotions.

Those who had the narrative reported a greater sense of well-being afterwards, and these positive feelings lasted for a week.


References

(Source: Scientific Reports, 2019; 9: doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37945-1)

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