We have posted for a while now on so-called ‘open label’ placebos, and the placebo effect engaged when someone actually knows they’re taking a sugar pill (or any other placebo treatment such as a saline injection).
This report, in Science Alert, claims that “across two experiments (…) during a highly arousing negative picture viewing task, non-deceptive placebos reduce both a self-report and neural measure of emotional distress.”
It seems that ‘open label’ placebos can also be described as ‘non-deceptive placebos’. This designation is of importance where researchers try to tackle the ethical issues involved in ‘lying’ to people about the test drug (or non-drug) being administered.
The report is based on research published in the prestigious journal Nature, Placebos without deception reduce self-report and neural measures of emotional distress .
“What if someone took a side-effect free sugar pill twice a day after going through a short convincing video on the power of placebos and experienced reduced stress as a result?” says lead researcher and psychologist Darwin Guevarra from Michigan State University (MSU).
“These results raise that possibility.”