The present study explores whether a particular style of placebo disclosure could serve as a tool to foster a renewed trust in one's own inherent resources and elicit a meaningful placebo effect. In a motor performance task, two placebo groups received inert transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in each of four sessions along with information on its force-enhancing properties. Before the final session, one of the placebo groups was informed about the placebo, which was portrayed as a means to unleash an inherent potential. Along with force, we systematically monitored task-specific self-efficacy to test whether this variable would be differentially modulated in the two placebo groups. Compared to two control groups, placebo groups showed higher force and self-efficacy in the last session. No differences in self-efficacy were observed in the placebo groups even after revealing the placebo procedure, suggesting that the disclosure was effective in 'safeguarding' individuals' self-efficacy. These findings may have important implications, paving the way for the use of placebos that not only are ethically permissible but also support individuals' self-efficacy.

Preserving the placebo effect after disclosure: a new perspective on non-deceptive placebos

Emadi Andani, Mehran;Fiorio, Mirta
2024-01-01

Abstract

The present study explores whether a particular style of placebo disclosure could serve as a tool to foster a renewed trust in one's own inherent resources and elicit a meaningful placebo effect. In a motor performance task, two placebo groups received inert transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in each of four sessions along with information on its force-enhancing properties. Before the final session, one of the placebo groups was informed about the placebo, which was portrayed as a means to unleash an inherent potential. Along with force, we systematically monitored task-specific self-efficacy to test whether this variable would be differentially modulated in the two placebo groups. Compared to two control groups, placebo groups showed higher force and self-efficacy in the last session. No differences in self-efficacy were observed in the placebo groups even after revealing the placebo procedure, suggesting that the disclosure was effective in 'safeguarding' individuals' self-efficacy. These findings may have important implications, paving the way for the use of placebos that not only are ethically permissible but also support individuals' self-efficacy.
2024
disclosure
maximum voluntary force
placebo effect
self-efficacy
verbal suggestions
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1117427
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