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How powerful is the placebo effect?

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Another quite micro post (really, I’m serious about this micro thing), but a bit more to chew on than the last: How powerful is the placebo effect? Not very.

This 2010 meta-analysis of studies involving the placebo effect suggests that its perceived power may really be mostly in our heads. In fact, it may not exist at all in the physical sense that many believe it does.

That confirms my bias. I’ve been banging this drum for ages. He’s summarizing Hróbjartsson and Gøtzsche — which I do myself in a much longer article about placebo, just updated.

99 words, boom, done!