Steve Silberman‘s Wired piece, Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why is blowing my mind — or it would be if I wasn’t already doped up on ten different placebos.
Here’s a quote:
In other words, one way that placebo aids recovery is by hacking the mind’s ability to predict the future. We are constantly parsing the reactions of those around us—such as the tone a doctor uses to deliver a diagnosis—to generate more-accurate estimations of our fate. One of the most powerful placebogenic triggers is watching someone else experience the benefits of an alleged drug.