Merely possessing a placebo analgesic reduced pain intensity : preliminary findings from a randomized laboratory design
1st Official Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies (SIPS) conference
An experiment was conducted to examine whether the mere possession of a placebo analgesic cream could reduce perceived pain intensity in a cold pressor test. Healthy participants were induced to have the motive to reduce physical pain and to believe that a placebo analgesic cream was an effective analgesic drug. Half of the participants were unexpectedly given the placebo analgesic cream as a gift, whereas the other half were not. Results showed that participants who merely possessed, but did not use, the placebo analgesic cream reported lower levels of pain intensity from the cold pressor test as compared to participants who did not possess the cream. The study provides preliminary evidence that simply possessing a placebo analgesic can reduce pain. Possible mechanisms and future directions are discussed.
Yeung, V. W. L., Geers, A. & Kam, S. M.-C. (2017, April). Merely possessing a placebo analgesic reduced pain intensity: preliminary findings from a randomized laboratory design. Paper presented at the 1st Official Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies (SIPS) conference, Leiden, The Netherlands.