Tag Archives | experiment

The Nocebo Effect is Serious Medicine

A decade ago I read an intriguing article entitled “The Nocebo Effect: Placebo’s Evil Twin” which argued a patient’s pessimistic attitude could have negative consequences on their health.  Research showed that patients who were warned of gastrointestinal side effects from repeated use of aspirin were almost three times as likely to exhibit the side effects…

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Are you diversifying your choices?

We are creatures of habit. -OR- Variety is the spice of life. Both are commonly held beliefs which seemingly contradict each other.  Which is it?  Do we always choose our favorite food/toy/song or do we opt for less-desirable alternatives so we don’t get bored? The answer is yes. When faced with multiple simultaneous options, people…

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Decision Quicksand

Why are unimportant decisions so hard for people to make? The conventional wisdom is that people don’t make decisions due to the fear of being wrong.  However, in “Decision Quicksand: When Trivial Choices Suck Us In,” research suggests that excessive information and extraneous choices trick our brains into thinking that a decision is more complicated…

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