Surprisingly many people know very little about what is known as the ‘placebo effect’. The presented research paper argues that the concept includes much that has nothing to do with placebos, confusing the most interesting and important aspects of the phenomenon. The authors propose a new way to understand the concept by focusing on the idea of the meaning to which people when they are sick, often respond. In doing so, they introduce the idea of ‘meaning response’. They suggest an adoption of this formulation rather than the fixation on inert placebos which in their opinion will lead to far greater insight into how treatment works and perhaps to real improvements in human well-being.
Link to research (purchase may be required): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11900500