Abstract

The placebo effect is very well known, being replicated in many scientific studies. At the same time, its exact mechanisms still remain unknown. Quite a few hypothetical explanations for the placebo effect have been suggested, including faith, belief, hope, classical conditioning, conscious/subconscious expectation, endorphins, and the meaning response. This article argues that all these explanations may boil down to autosuggestion, in the sense of "communication with the subconscious." An important implication of this is that the placebo effect can in principle be used effectively without the placebo itself, through a direct use of autosuggestion. The benefits of such a strategy are clear: fewer side effects from medications, huge cost savings, no deception of patients, relief of burden on the physician's time, and healing in domains where medication or other therapies are problematic.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 43-58
Launched on MUSE
2012-02-29
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.