The Meaning of Placebo

http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2008/06/the_meaning_response.html
The movie “The Secret” talks about the Law of Attraction. How we attract is caused by and filtered by the meaning of our beliefs. In Daniel Moerman’s book “Meaning, medicine and the ‘placebo effect'” the strength of the placebo directly connects to the meaning a person puts on to the remedy.

Moerman calls this the “meaning response”; the meaning response seems to be most effective if meaning is reinforced from an authority figure. This athority figure gives permission to the patient to get a better response from the remedy. The meaning response from placebo doesn’t seem to work if an authority figure doesn’t give permission to the patient to respond. If the patient could get a meaning response without the authority figure would they even be available to be studied?

Many aboriginal medicines were effective because the amount of meaning patients and healers put on them. Voodoo, Witchcraft, ect, use icons to produce spells on people. Can these spells be another version of the “meaning effect” of placebo?

 

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