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The evolutionary psychology of healing: a human success story

Humphrey N, Skoyles J. The evolutionary psychology of healing: a human success story. Curr Biol. 2012 Sep;22(17):R695–8. PubMed #22975000.
Tags: mind

PainSci summary of Humphrey 2012 ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for average studies, with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

Humphrey and Skoyles proposes an evolutionary explanation for the placebo paradox: even though it might be possible in theory, in practice our brains dare not routinely invoke powerful recovery mechanisms because they have costs that often outweigh the benefits. Here’s some excellent some extra reading from Todd Hargrove, who did a nice job interpreting and explaining this idea. The additional perspective is most welcome.

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