Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The Placebo Effect...It is Real
Another case of people thinking something is better just because it costs more. People in marketing have known this for years and a recent Duke study has found the concept crosses into health care as well. You may have heard the term placebo effect. Well, that's what doctors call the reaction when someone takes a sugar pill and feels even better, though there was no medicine involved in the process. Well, the latest version of the placebo effect is downright fascinating. Researchers tested 82 volunteers. All got an electric shock when they were offered what they were told was a pain killer. Half were given a brochure describing the pill as a newly approved pain killer that cost $2.50 per dose and half were given a brochure describing it as marked down to 10 cents. 85% of the volunteers who thought they were getting the $2.50 pill said they felt less pain after taking it, compared to 61% who thought they were getting a discounted drug.