Yet another study has been published which demonstrates that the placebo effect is real and powerful. But the difference in this study is it did not involve deception — the patients were told they were being given a placebo and still had improved health effects!
In “Placebo Effects and Shamanic Healing,” I explored the connection between shamanic healing, which may be a Paleolithic adaptation, and the placebo effect. The current study, “Placebos without Deception” (open access), makes this hypothesis even more plausible.
Moreover, these types of studies have some relevance to the absolute conviction many religious people have that they are having supernatural experiences. The mind is a powerful thing. Or as Rick James might say: “The brain is a hell of a drug.”