It seems there may be characteristics which not only how receptive you are to benefiting from the placebo effect, but also the degree with which it effects you.
In a study published in Nature Communications, two factors seems to influence results:
- Brain anatomy (such as asymmetry in areas of the brain that control emotion and reward, including the amygdala, accumbens and hippocampus), and
- ‘Personality’ – especially mindsets “emotionally self-aware, attuned to the body and mindful of one’s surroundings”
At Universal Placebos we’ve always known that awareness and mindfulness are part of the therapeutic value of placebos, of course, which is why our product comes bundled with instructions for mindful and meaningful administration.
“Down the line, the clinician could give five or six questions to the patient and decide whether they should just prescribe a sugar pill to them,” say the researchers. “The higher they score on this personality questionnaire, the bigger their placebo response will be.”