Sorry for temporarily hijacking the thread. I was just curious as to the scientific definition and classifications.
Sixth - Back to the validity of homeopathy as a medical treatment… Why would one pay for a tasteless and “nutritionless” placebo ?
I’d rather have vegetables instead… Or fine chocolate… While imagining it’s a miracle cure for my chronic disease.
BTW : some stuff is identified as being homeopathic when it’s not even that. Here, some highly concentrated herbs or vegetable extracts (like Echinacea) are sold under the homeopathic “tag” — No wonder “homeopathy” works!
The reason is because people already know that vegetables aren't miracle healers, nor chocolate. If you consider the placebo effect a psychological trick (the mind thinks the "medicine" will make you better, so your body does what it needs to get better) then the ways to further convince yourself it's real is to make big commitments, like spending outlandish amounts of money on "special" water.
I've only taken Psychology 101 in college, but even at that basic level I learned about studies involving people justifying their commitments. They really have to convince themselves that what they spent their money on was worth it. One specific example is where people were taken in to do some "tests" which involved pulling pegs out of holes, flipping them over (the two sides were different colors) and putting them back in the holes. They did this for long periods of time, over and over and over. Afterward, they were asked to talk to the person who would be doing the test next, and tell them it was really fun. Some people were offered $1 to lie, some were offered $20. After they talked to the other person, they had an exit interview and the researchers asked them if they enjoyed the experience. I can't remember exactly the outcome, but most (if not all) of the people who were paid $1 to lie said they really enjoyed it, but most who were paid $20 said it was boring.
They had to justify lying to someone else for such a small sum of money that they actually had convinced themselves that it was fun. The people who were paid $20 did it just for the money and had no problem saying so.
To come back to topic: If someone hands me a cucumber and says it is a special cucumber that will heal my illness, there's no way I'll believe them. But if someone spews out pseudo-scientific terms, detailing a complex method of certain ingredients mixed and matched etc. to come to a treatment, which is more believable? Also, which is more believable, the one that costs a couple dollars or the one that is really expensive?
For the placebo effect, it's just a matter of psychological manipulation.
Interestingly enough, Lie Detector machines also work largely on the placebo effect (kind of). If you believe they are flawless at detecting lies, you might fail even if you're telling the truth. If you believe they are flawed and aren't accurate, you can lie all you want.