Michael Specter's The Power Of Nothing: The Placebo Effect

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The placebo effect can be defined as causing someone to believe that the drug they are receiving will help cure their illness or disease. The most important aspect of the experiment is to create the expectation that the drug will have positive effects. Researchers have observed that positive thinking causes the brain to produce positive physical responses. Michael Specter, author of The Power of Nothing, stated that, “simply believing in a treatment can be as effective as the treatment itself.” One major advantage about the placebo effect is that it allows people to be less dependent on science and the questions doctors cannot answer. Researchers are able to determine how beneficial a drug is by performing these experiments. For example, let’s say a scientist were doing a study on a drug. They gave one group a placebo and gave the other group the medicine. That researcher could determine the success of that drug by comparing the results…show more content…
I believe our way of thinking is more powerful than we think, and if a patient were to believe they were going to get better their body would respond better. I think everyone has experienced this during some point in their life. Whether it be the encouraging words or a doctor, or the research done a “new, extraordinary medical treatment,” we have all succumbed to the placebo effect. However, I do not think it can be applied to all illnesses and diseases. More serious ones will have to depend on more than a positive attitude. This article provided an extraordinary amount of data and was very convincing. I believe the takeaway is that psychology plays a bigger role outside of therapy or a lecture hall. It can be applied to medical studies and our everyday lives. Thoughts sometimes influence physical responses. Though the placebo effect is not an absolute method it is one that should be taken into serious

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