Underplayed redundancy in placebo effect research (on cheap vs costly fake medicine)

A celebrated 2015 research paper makes much the same discovery as a paper that won an Ig Nobel Prize for medicine years earlier. The discovery is about the power of pricing fake medicines. The new paper makes only an indirect, beery allusion to the earlier, Ig Nobel Prize-winning research. That 2008 Ig Nobel Prize for medicine […]

Cheap quasi-repeat of a dear study of cheap-versus-dear fake medicines

A new, celebrated medical paper echoes the beloved study that long ago earned an Ig Nobel Prize for medicine. The Los Angeles Times summarizes the new study, with the headline: “‘Expensive’ placebos work better than ‘cheap’ ones, study finds“. The new study is: “Placebo effect of medication cost in Parkinson disease,” Alberto J. Espay [pictured here], MD, […]

A cheerfully depressing investigation: “Which Placebo to Cure Depression?”

This study pokes a pointed stick into lots of questions about medicine, science, and scholarship. The lead author writes (in a note to us) that “It addresses a paradox in modern medicine: antidepressants are often considered to be mere placebos [1] despite the fact that meta-analyses are able to rank them [2]: it follows that it […]

Placebos, placebos…

Universal Placebos gathers news, research, and musings about placebos, and even offers some for sale. Another good, rich source, of course is Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational — both the book and the associated ever-growing web site. Both include accounts of Ariely’s Ig Nobel Prize-winning research, which demonsrated that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than […]