Mindsets Matter: A New Framework for Harnessing the Placebo Effect in Modern Medicine.
International review of neurobiology
2018; 138: 137–60
The clinical utility of the placebo effect has long hinged on physicians deceptively administering an objective placebo treatment to their patients. However, the power of the placebo does not reside in the sham treatment itself; rather, it comes from the psychosocial forces that surround the patient and the treatment. To this end, we propose a new framework for understanding and leveraging the placebo effect in clinical care. In outlining this framework, we first present the placebo effect as a neurobiological effect that is evoked by psychological processes. Next, we argue that along with implicit learning and expectation formation, mindsets are a key psychological process involved in the placebo effect. Finally, we illustrate the critical role of the social environment and treatment context in shaping these psychological processes. In doing so, we offer a guide for how the placebo effect can be understood, harnessed, and leveraged in the practice of modern medicine.
View details for PubMedID 29681322