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Old 11th August 2021, 03:58 PM   #81
HansMustermann
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I'd also like to add that ever since in the 70's we discovered that effect for Ibuprofen, a lot of the medicine involved is not just a pain pill, but also a NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug.) Which is important because of those sleeper nociceptors I was talking about, if the inflammation goes down, some or all of those can get deactivated, so the pain goes down. And anti-inflammatory drugs really don't tend to work THAT part of the magic within an hour. And you kinda have to test against that if any placebo is compared to one of those.
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Old 11th August 2021, 04:32 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'll even grant that it might somewhat work at an hour interval, but that's not the thing we're talking about here. We're talking a placebo for surgery, for Pete's sake.
“We” are? No, we are not. I certainly am not. Maybe you are, but I suspect you are alone in that. I’m talking about placebos for managing minor to moderate pain.

Quote:
You can't ask people in the group that actually got surgery to put the same kind of strain on a shoulder that just got operated, as they did when it hurt before, to see if it already got better.
No ****, Sherlock. Which is why I specifically said that we are NOT talking about affecting underlying damage with a placebo. That was never under consideration by me, and I thought that was obvious.

Quote:
But even without it involving surgery, a lot of these placebo trials involve comparing stuff across weeks or even months.
Which may be a weakness of those specific studies. But it’s not like all placebo studies have that problem. They don’t.

Quote:
But generally, even without surgery or even being about pain, the kinds of things that are in placebo trials are not always suited for such immediate comparison. E.g., one such placebo study involved self-reporting how easy it was to fall asleep in patients with insomnia. That's hard to gauge accurately in any case, but more importantly for most people it's going to necessarily mean comparing to something from 24 hours before.
A sleep study that uses self reporting is a bad sleep study, because you don’t need self reporting. You can measure when people fall asleep objectively.

But again, I made no claims about placebos for anything other than pain.
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Old 11th August 2021, 05:07 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
“We” are? No, we are not. I certainly am not. Maybe you are, but I suspect you are alone in that. I’m talking about placebos for managing minor to moderate pain.
Uh, dude, it's in the link in the OP, and it's been quoted and talked about on the first page, etc. So if you want to go "I suspect you are alone in that" kind of smart aleck, no, YOU are the one who only now reveal that you were talking about your own MASSIVELY moved goalposts. In fact, about what seems to be what you just imagined to be the goalposts.

Sorry, it's not MY fault if you want to talk about your own strawman. Try reading the flipping link in the OP before deciding who's alone in talking about what, don't just imagine what everyone is going on about.
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Old 11th August 2021, 05:17 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Uh, dude, it's in the link in the OP, and it's been quoted and talked about on the first page, etc.
Let me put it this way. No one in this thread has advanced the idea that placebos can do anything more than make you feel a bit better. Everyone here is in agreement that it cannot do more than that, and nobody here contests that. And if that's moving the goalpost, it was moved on page 1.

Quote:
Sorry, it's not MY fault if you want to talk about your own strawman. Try reading the flipping link in the OP before deciding who's alone in talking about what, don't just imagine what everyone is going on about.
I was explicit from the start that I was only talking about pain. You kept bringing up other stuff as if that refuted what I said about pain. That's your straw man, not mine.
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Old 11th August 2021, 05:32 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Let me put it this way. No one in this thread has advanced the idea that placebos can do anything more than make you feel a bit better. Everyone here is in agreement that it cannot do more than that, and nobody here contests that. And if that's moving the goalpost, it was moved on page 1.
Again, it's in the link in the flippin' OP. As in post #1. As is mentioning the idea of a "powerful placebo effect" more than once. You know, the kind that shows in those multi-week studies. The idea that the very starting post in a thread is moving the goalposts if they don't coincide with what you imagined it's all about, is downright stupid. There were no goalposts before that very first post for it to move.

Edit: *sigh* Look, I'm not going to demand that anyone sticks to the topic, if they feel like discussing some other sub-case or even tangent instead. FSM knows I've gone on all sorts of tangents before myself. But please make it clear we're not talking about the same thing any more. Is all I'm saying.
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Old 11th August 2021, 06:36 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Er .. paracetamol is not a placebo. It is an actual pain inhibitor. If you are going to deny that there is anything such as a real pain blocker then you will lose all credibility.
Yeah I should have been clearer. If instead of "you take a pill when the pain is worst" you assume I said "you take a homeopathic remedy when the pain is worst" you'll get the gist of what I meant.
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Old 11th August 2021, 06:50 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Edit: *sigh* Look, I'm not going to demand that anyone sticks to the topic, if they feel like discussing some other sub-case or even tangent instead. FSM knows I've gone on all sorts of tangents before myself. But please make it clear we're not talking about the same thing any more. Is all I'm saying.
I did make it clear. My first non joke post was specifically about pain, nothing more. You responded, asking me specifically about pain. And I responded, still specifically about pain, along with what I thought was a pretty explicit statement that placebos didn’t actually heal you:

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
But pain IS the experience. The underlying thing being experienced isn't pain, but physical damage. And yes, we know placebos don't affect physical damage to the body. That doesn't mean they don't affect the experience. If you think it affects the experience, guess what? It does. By definition.
So I still don’t know why you ever thought that anything other than pain was being discussed between you and me. That isn’t where it started, and I never brought up any claims beyond that. I was always clear.
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Old 11th August 2021, 10:38 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah I should have been clearer. If instead of "you take a pill when the pain is worst" you assume I said "you take a homeopathic remedy when the pain is worst" you'll get the gist of what I meant.
Even if a placebo is taken instead, it is not necessarily a coincidence of timing. Depending on the cause of the pain, the belief that the pain is being healed can actually cause a reduction in the pain.
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Old 11th August 2021, 10:56 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Even if a placebo is taken instead, it is not necessarily a coincidence of timing. Depending on the cause of the pain, the belief that the pain is being healed can actually cause a reduction in the pain.
It can cause a reduction in the perceived pain, without making any objective difference to its cause. Whether that's a meaningful distinction with a purely subjective symptom like pain is, I believe, the question under discussion.
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Old 11th August 2021, 11:06 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Even if a placebo is taken instead, it is not necessarily a coincidence of timing. Depending on the cause of the pain, the belief that the pain is being healed can actually cause a reduction in the pain.
No, not necessarily. Like I have been saying, it's one factor among many.

Also, what Pixel42 said.
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Old 11th August 2021, 11:07 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
So I still don’t know why you ever thought that anything other than pain was being discussed between you and me. That isn’t where it started, and I never brought up any claims beyond that. I was always clear.
I didn't think it was about anything else than pain. The placebo surgery in the OP link IS about chronic pain.

Essentially it looks like you STILL haven't bothered to read and get a clue about what was discussed -- including, yes, the wide spectrum of such placebo effect trials; not everything is about minor pain and stuff you can deal with in an hour -- even after being told explicitly about it, but think you can berate me for not somehow knowing it should be about what you pulled out of your own imagination instead. I.e., for being on topic.

But anyway, surprising as it may sound, I haven't won Randi's million. I have no way of knowing that when you say placebo trials, not only you mean only your own arbitrary subset of them, but even exclude the ones in the OP.
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Old 11th August 2021, 11:49 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
It can cause a reduction in the perceived pain, without making any objective difference to its cause. Whether that's a meaningful distinction with a purely subjective symptom like pain is, I believe, the question under discussion.
Not even necessarily that. It causes a difference in reported pain. But, as I was saying, we already know that everything from wording to order choice to even the order of questions can produce a significant difference in polls about anything. Source, for example, https://methods.sagepub.com/referenc...thods/n255.xml
"Most social scientists are aware that responses to survey questions can be significantly affected not only by how questions are worded but also by the order in which the questions are asked. Furthermore, they are generally aware that the order in which the response alternatives within a question are presented can likewise have a significant influence on survey results."
But really, it's so well known and has been known for so long, it's even been used in sitcoms:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


It's played for laughs, but all the effects in there are actually straight from sociology. Reputable polling companies, as the quote above tells you, indeed are aware that answers to later questions are influenced by what you answered to previous questions. As are they of the fact that people answer differently if the wording or anything else gives them an idea of what's expected of them.

As is the fact that, as I was saying, there is a measurable bias towards responding "yes" to ANYTHING. Even without the leading questions in the skit, if you ask group A all the non-randomized "are you in favour of reintroducing national service" and group B "do you oppose reintroducing national service", the percentage of "yes" in group A will be greater than that of "no" in group B every single time. That's why in serious polls it's actually randomized whether you get form A or form B of the question.

Ditto for picking the first choices in a multi-choice question. That's what the significant influence of the order of choices is about in the above quote. If everyone gets the choices to "how do you feel about reintroducing national service" as ranging from 1. strongly support to 5. strongly oppose, you have a skew towards picking "strongly support" in the results, just because that's what was at the top.

Edit: and as I was saying before, it applies just as well to things in the past. If you poll someone about what they thought about Angela Merkel's speech last month, the above effects still apply. Your poll can't change the actual experience they had at the time (such as thinking she's full of it or not), because that kind of causality would go against the time axis. There's no way to cause an actual placebo effect, so to speak, there. But you get a difference in what they report anyway.


We also know from the cognitive dissonance studies that people even change their memory of something, to keep their mental model in line with what they want to believe. Such as, you know, wanting to believe that taking medicine will help them.

And indeed some placebo studies have asked people about expectations and such, and found that indeed what you get is a correlation between their confidence in it and the reported results. Which sure, CAN mean that really believing actually makes the placebo effect work, and it is probably one factor. But strangely enough it's also exactly the kind of correlation you'd expect from a cognitive bias and/or cognitive dissonance effect.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.


But anyway, what I'm saying, and I believe arthwollipot is saying, is that when we talk about comparing things to placebo, actually the remissions in the control group are a combination of stuff like:
- actual placebo effect, if any (as was said, it doesn't seem to work for actual illness at all)
- your own body fixing itself
- Regression toward the mean (if you do something when the pain is the worst, or generally go to the doctor when things get worse than normal, of course after a while you'll notice it became more mediocre)
- cognitive bias, if self-reporting plays any part in it
- self-selection bias in your sample
- reporting effects, like I talked about above, if self-reporting plays any part in it
Etc.

Basically, as he puts it, it's really a combination of every single variable you didn't control for.

At least in popular culture, the placebo effect is taken to cover the whole sum of those. If the control group for, say, some antibiotic trial saw x% remissions without the actual medicine, they take it to mean that OMG, placebo really cures x% of bacterial infections. Therefore, mind over body BS. Or therefore, you can go take some homeopathic remedies instead, 'cause if you believe strongly enough, it will heal you by placebo effect anyway.

When in reality, as it turned out when we had large scale meta-studies, in that case exactly 0% of it had anything to do with the placebo actually making any difference to the infection.
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Old 12th August 2021, 01:35 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But anyway, what I'm saying, and I believe arthwollipot is saying, is that when we talk about comparing things to placebo, actually the remissions in the control group are a combination of stuff like:
- actual placebo effect, if any (as was said, it doesn't seem to work for actual illness at all)
- your own body fixing itself
- Regression toward the mean (if you do something when the pain is the worst, or generally go to the doctor when things get worse than normal, of course after a while you'll notice it became more mediocre)
- cognitive bias, if self-reporting plays any part in it
- self-selection bias in your sample
- reporting effects, like I talked about above, if self-reporting plays any part in it
Etc.

Basically, as he puts it, it's really a combination of every single variable you didn't control for.
Mike Hall goes into all of this over many episodes of the podcast. I'm expecting that more articles will be forthcoming. There's certainly enough material for a publishable book. But writing takes time.

If the article schedule goes on a similar track to the podcast, soon he'll explain how Ben Goldacre got it so dreadfully wrong in his book Bad Science.
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Old 12th August 2021, 01:52 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
It can cause a reduction in the perceived pain, without making any objective difference to its cause. Whether that's a meaningful distinction with a purely subjective symptom like pain is, I believe, the question under discussion.
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No, not necessarily. Like I have been saying, it's one factor among many.

Also, what Pixel42 said.

I'm not willing to dismiss decades of wisdom based on one podcast:
Quote:
"The placebo effect is more than positive thinking — believing a treatment or procedure will work. It's about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together," says Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose research focuses on the placebo effect.

Placebos won't lower your cholesterol or shrink a tumor. Instead, placebos work on symptoms modulated by the brain, like the perception of pain. "Placebos may make you feel better, but they will not cure you," says Kaptchuk. "They have been shown to be most effective for conditions like pain management, stress-related insomnia, and cancer treatment side effects like fatigue and nausea."
https://www.health.harvard.edu/menta...placebo-effect
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Old 12th August 2021, 01:58 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I'm not willing to dismiss decades of wisdom based on one podcast:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/menta...placebo-effect
Yes, that's the kind of statement that Mike thoroughly and convincingly debunked.

ETA: And the fact that he has been going against common wisdom is not lost on him. It's why he was so very careful and thorough about going back to the original research.
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Old 12th August 2021, 02:46 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes, that's the kind of statement that Mike thoroughly and convincingly debunked.
I tend to place slightly greater weight on Harvard based research than on the opinions of a dissenting podcaster.

The reason why we have control groups in drug trials is to eliminate the placebo effect.
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Old 12th August 2021, 03:01 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Even if a placebo is taken instead, it is not necessarily a coincidence of timing. Depending on the cause of the pain, the belief that the pain is being healed can actually cause a reduction in the pain.
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
It can cause a reduction in the perceived pain, without making any objective difference to its cause. Whether that's a meaningful distinction with a purely subjective symptom like pain is, I believe, the question under discussion.
That's the key word. And even then it is slightly inaccurate, if you attend some of the pain clinics, they will help you understand how your mental state can affect how you cope with your pain, it isn't really the perception as much as the attention you pay to your pain.

And to add something in - remember chronic pain is vastly different to acute pain so what works with acute pain - usually a strong short dose of pain killers is very different to what will work at helping someone live with their chronic pain.
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Old 12th August 2021, 03:10 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Even if a placebo is taken instead, it is not necessarily a coincidence of timing. Depending on the cause of the pain, the belief that the pain is being healed can actually cause a reduction in the pain.
No, it will affect how you deal/cope with the pain, there is no reduction in the pain itself it's your mindset that is changed by your belief not your physiology. Which of course doesn't mean someone doesn't actually "feel" better after a placebo. I like long hot baths, I would say in folk language that it helps relieve my pain, because I "feel better" or "more relaxed" but it doesn't do anything to the pain, it's a way I've learnt to relax (and now associate with feeling better) which makes me feel better even though the pain doesn't change.
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Old 12th August 2021, 03:14 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I'm not willing to dismiss decades of wisdom based on one podcast:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/menta...placebo-effect
Which decades of wisdom? It's been slow progress finding treatments that work for chronic pain, it's only comparatively recently that it has become a discipline/specialisation in its own right, in many countries they are well behind the ball.
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Old 12th August 2021, 03:54 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which decades of wisdom? It's been slow progress finding treatments that work for chronic pain, it's only comparatively recently that it has become a discipline/specialisation in its own right, in many countries they are well behind the ball.
If you read what was quoted from that link you would see that it is about "decades of wisdom" that suggest that the placebo effect is real and not imaginary.

You are free to provide links to research that debunks this idea but a mere podcast won't cut it.
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Old 12th August 2021, 05:00 AM   #101
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Until very recently there were also decades of common wisdom that placebos actually cause actual healing in actual illnesses. In fact, we even had a highly similar explanation for how it supposedly works, as what is proposed now for pain: see, stress level modulates the activity of your immune system, so by telling people you're giving them an antibiotic you reduce their stress level, which makes their body better at actually curing the infection.

We didn't actually have a meta study to say that no, it really doesn't have any measurable effect, until this decade. And that convoluted explanation was just tooth fairy science, as in, it was explaining something that doesn't actually exist.

Which also takes care of your statement that, "The reason why we have control groups in drug trials is to eliminate the placebo effect." No, for most drugs, thanks to the aforementioned meta studies we actually know that there is NO actual placebo effect. In a treatment for asthma or for pneumonia or chemotherapy for cancer, exactly 0% of the cases were actually cured by placebo effect. The control group is really to compare it mostly to your immune system doing its job, rather than because we actually expect a placebo effect to cure anything there. Yes, we still use the conventional phrasing that some antibiotic worked better than placebo, but that just means it worked better than the control group, in which we actually expect 0% of infections to be actually cured by placebo effect in the meantime.
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Old 12th August 2021, 05:13 AM   #102
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Old 12th August 2021, 05:52 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No, for most drugs, thanks to the aforementioned meta studies we actually know that there is NO actual placebo effect. In a treatment for asthma or for pneumonia or chemotherapy for cancer, exactly 0% of the cases were actually cured by placebo effect.
Exactly what Harvard professor Professor Ted Kaptchuk states in the article I linked to.

The extension that there is NO placebo effect for ANY ailment whatsoever is unfounded.
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Old 12th August 2021, 06:19 AM   #104
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I would expect placebo would be ‘effective’ in exactly the same ways as meditation etc.

Meaning, anything you can affect with intentional thought, you can affect with unintentional thought. A pretty narrow window though. I would have thought physically measurable stuff would be along the lines of can you calm yourself down enough to release less adrenalin than if you let a panic attack run away with you.

I heard an npr program (TAL?) or something a while back claiming that someone’s serious digestive ailments went away due to placebo until they found out it was placebo and they came back. And they were working on tricking her ‘being cared for’ sympathetic system into turning back on. I was, let’s say, skeptical. That sounded highly testable and I thought it would make a pretty big splash if it panned out.
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:01 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Exactly what Harvard professor Professor Ted Kaptchuk states in the article I linked to.

The extension that there is NO placebo effect for ANY ailment whatsoever is unfounded.
Actually, considering that "ailment" actually means "a physical disorder or illness, especially of a minor or chronic nature" (my highligh,) then yes, there is

1. We never found any actual placebo effect for the actual ailments we did a meta-study on,

and

2. We have no evidence that it works any different for the ones we didn't make such a meta-study on.

In the absence of evidence, the default Occam-conform position for #2 is that it doesn't either.

What we do have is a possible placebo effect in the perception of some symptoms, which is quite different from actually treating the underlying physical ailment.

Even in the placebo surgery mentioned in the link in the OP, nobody says that those bone growths in the joint (you know, the PHYSICAL part of it) actually go away by placebo. You can just apparently convince someone that they hurt less when they move their arm around.
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:10 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
I would expect placebo would be ‘effective’ in exactly the same ways as meditation etc.

Meaning, anything you can affect with intentional thought, you can affect with unintentional thought. A pretty narrow window though. I would have thought physically measurable stuff would be along the lines of can you calm yourself down enough to release less adrenalin than if you let a panic attack run away with you.

I heard an npr program (TAL?) or something a while back claiming that someone’s serious digestive ailments went away due to placebo until they found out it was placebo and they came back. And they were working on tricking her ‘being cared for’ sympathetic system into turning back on. I was, let’s say, skeptical. That sounded highly testable and I thought it would make a pretty big splash if it panned out.
Just to make it clear, Adrenalin DOES affect the immune system, by pretty much suppressing parts of it. Which is why that explanation about how placebo actually cures a tumour or infection actually lasted that long, until it was discovered that there is no actual measurable effect to explain.

However, the flip side -- and presumably also a part in why you don't actually see any net effect -- is that other stress hormones like norepinephrine, epinephrine and corticosterone actually boost the immune system majorly. (See, for example, https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0621223525.htm )

It turns out that evolution isn't as dumb as we thought. When the animal goes into fight or flight, it means that statistically there's a high chance of injury happening next. So there's actually an evolutionary advantage in having the immune system go into overdrive at that time, rather than shutting down.

So anyway, the supposed positive effect of soothing someone's stress on their health in an actual illness may be at best neutral, and at worst a net negative. So even meditation, I would guess it may be good for you in other aspects, but it might not really help save your life if you have an actual illness.

(Edit: with some emergency exceptions. Like, if you go into circulatory shock, high enough stress will kill you. But that kind of emergency is not what you'd treat with placebos anyway.)
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:16 AM   #107
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Late to the thread and might have been discussed already, but has anyone studied subjects who respond to the placebo effect, to determine if they have some trait that could be identified beforehand and remove them from the study, as they are the proverbial monkey wrench?
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:19 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
If you read what was quoted from that link you would see that it is about "decades of wisdom" that suggest that the placebo effect is real and not imaginary.

You are free to provide links to research that debunks this idea but a mere podcast won't cut it.
Not seen that claim.
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:23 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Late to the thread and might have been discussed already, but has anyone studied subjects who respond to the placebo effect, to determine if they have some trait that could be identified beforehand and remove them from the study, as they are the proverbial monkey wrench?
Not sure, but as I was mentioning before, some did find a correlation between expectation and the placebo effect. So if you strongly believe that medicine WILL help you, it will. Or at the very least you will report that it did.

There are however other monkey wrenches in that too:

1. where that correlation is the strongest is in the HEALTHY people in the test. So basically in a practical situation (i.e., you actually went to the doctor, as opposed to someone poking you in a test lab because you volunteered) you get the most out it if you were a hypochondriac who never had any actual problem in the first place.

2. in a lot of people (especially the #1 kind) actually a placebo works best. Actually having an effect, like from actually getting an active substance, can actually reduce how much they think it worked.

People are weird, basically...
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:24 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
...snip...

(Edit: with some emergency exceptions. Like, if you go into circulatory shock, high enough stress will kill you. But that kind of emergency is not what you'd treat with placebos anyway.)
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Old 12th August 2021, 09:44 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, considering that "ailment" actually means "a physical disorder or illness, especially of a minor or chronic nature" (my highligh,) then yes, <--snip-->
Do you really think that you can alter my argument by with a dictionary?

Just to reiterate, placebos are most effective for conditions like "pain management, stress-related insomnia, and cancer treatment side effects like fatigue and nausea". You can't prove that they are purely psychological effects and any attempt to make it appear that I am suddenly arguing that they can cure cancer is just dishonest strawmanning.
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:55 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I tend to place slightly greater weight on Harvard based research than on the opinions of a dissenting podcaster.

The reason why we have control groups in drug trials is to eliminate the placebo effect.
I suspect that if you had heard Mike's careful, thoughtful and thorough coverage of the subject, you would be as convinced as I am that the mind-over-matter "powerful placebo" effect is largely nonexistent, despite what research has been done before.
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Old 12th August 2021, 10:56 PM   #113
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I don’t have time for videos and podcasts, unfortunately. I can read a text in a fraction of the time it takes to listen to it.

Does Mike Hall argue that the concept mind-over matter “powerful placebo” exists outside the circles of pop science?

I have never heard of such a thing, only that placebo alters the perception of the seriousness of an ailment that can make people live with pain - or in the case of woo-woo treatments, postpone the perception of seriousness until it is too late to treat.

I can’t understand why we are having this discussion among people who generally agree.
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Old 12th August 2021, 11:02 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I don’t have time for videos and podcasts, unfortunately. I can read a text in a fraction of the time it takes to listen to it.
This is why it's great that Mike has started writing it up.

Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Does Mike Hall argue that the concept mind-over matter “powerful placebo” exists outside the circles of pop science?

I have never heard of such a thing, only that placebo alters the perception of the seriousness of an ailment that can make people live with pain - or in the case of woo-woo treatments, postpone the perception of seriousness until it is too late to treat.

I can’t understand why we are having this discussion among people who generally agree.
Yes, there is absolutely a common perception that placebo has magic effects over and above what can be accounted for. Mike's basic argument is that we just haven't been accounting for enough.

His other basic argument, of course, is that science is widely misreported, and this is partially responsible for the common perception of placebo.
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Old 13th August 2021, 12:29 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I suspect that if you had heard Mike's careful, thoughtful and thorough coverage of the subject, you would be as convinced as I am that the mind-over-matter "powerful placebo" effect is largely nonexistent, despite what research has been done before.
We don't need clever sounding arguments. We need properly analyzed data.
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Old 13th August 2021, 12:36 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
We don't need clever sounding arguments. We need properly analyzed data.
I'll even drink to that. (Well, I'll drink to anything. Or even without the anything.)
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Old 13th August 2021, 12:56 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
We don't need clever sounding arguments. We need properly analyzed data.
We have properly analysed data. The properly analysed data is widely misinterpreted, and misrepresented as saying that there is an effect where in fact there is no such effect.
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Old 13th August 2021, 12:59 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
We have properly analysed data. The properly analysed data is widely misinterpreted, and misrepresented as saying that there is an effect where in fact there is no such effect.
To some extent. I have yet to personally see ANY medical study where they even acknowledge the distorting reporting effects that sociology knew about literally since the '50s, much less the even bigger distorting effects that are textbook anthropology.

And to be fair, when comparing TO placebo, they get evened out. If a source of error in testing an actual analgesic is people telling you falsehoods, then you're as probable to see that effect in both the actual test group and the control group. So basically you don't need to do anything special to compensate for it. You'll have about as many people distorting the result in both groups, so if the group that took the active substance still had more remissions than the control group, that's been automatically taken care of.

It's only when we're talking about the efficacy of placebo, that I'd like to see someone talk to the sociologists too first.
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Old 13th August 2021, 01:00 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
To some extent. I have yet to personally see ANY medical study where they even acknowledge the distorting reporting effects that sociology knew about literally since the '50s, much less the even bigger distorting effects that are textbook anthropology.
With Hans' appropriate caveat, of course.
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Old 13th August 2021, 01:20 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
We have properly analysed data. The properly analysed data is widely misinterpreted, and misrepresented as saying that there is an effect where in fact there is no such effect.
Which particular data are you claiming that Harvard researchers totally messed up?
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