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Th1nk1ngTh1ng t1_j863dx9 wrote

True, but If it's not a double blind study then you can't eliminate the possibility that the respondents aren't reporting the information they think the researchers want to hear. It taints the evidence - biases the sample - especially in human trials.

I've read a number of these "we broke the blinds" placebo studies, and they always find that the people who know they are getting a placebo report extreme results. And, my conclusion is: "of course, they did! They knew that's what the researchers wanted to hear."


[deleted] t1_j86qynl wrote



Th1nk1ngTh1ng t1_j873oba wrote

Well, first of all. They are not demonstrating causality with this study because the only scientific method to do that is through multiple confirming double blind randomized controlled trials ("RCT"). That's sort of my point in my previous posts.

If there is a method to test causality of the placebo effect, that's the only way to go about it. (I'm a statistician, btw, that's why I believe this to be the case.)

The placebo in RCTs isn't given to prove the placebo effect exists. It's given to create a control group on the presumption that the placebo effect may exist. It's given to account for the possibility of a placebo effect.

I'm not really sure how to test the causality of the placebo effect but, i would point out that there really isn't any reason to presume that there is a singular cause to the placebo effect. And, asking me to do that in relation to this study is shifting the burden of proof. It's not on me to prove that. It's on the authors of this study to demonstrate that they have.