Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Placebo Study

A 2008 study out of Duke University by behavioral economist Dan Ariely at Duke University found that expensive placebo pills work better than cheap ones even though, after all, they are ‘just’ placebo pills!
Researchers in the study administered painful electric shocks to 82 participants [I'm glad I didn't participate in that study!]. After the electric shocks were administered, researchers offered participants placebo pills with pamphlets advertising them as pain relievers that either cost $0.10 a pill or $2.50 a pill.
Amazingly, 85% of participants receiving the expensive pills experienced significant pain reduction, while just 61% of the group receiving the cheap pill experienced pain reduction. That’s a 24% improvement in symptoms simply because the one placebo appeared 25 times more expensive than the other! (a cerebral explanation of the study)


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