Why and How Is the Brain Fooled by the Placebo Effect? Essay

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“The more you think of an imaginary problem, the more you feel as though it’s real.” (Panova) Our brain is known to work in mysterious ways, and the placebo effect acts is a prime example of exactly that. The concept of this phenomenon is known to confuse the average person, but it should not. Nevertheless, those unaware of it are still affected on a regular basis. In fact, every time a pill is taken, half of its power comes from just thinking and expecting it to work. All humans are gullible, each to a certain extent. Even the most clever individuals would succomb to the sheer power of placebos in, for example, a life-or-death situation. The placebo effect fools our brain effectively because of the trust we put into doctors and medicine, …show more content…
The majority of the people in the group with valid medicine were healed. Surprisingly, around 379 people were cured by the placebo effect alone (Beecher). There is a distinct difference between the effects of medicine given to you by certified doctors and medicine given to you by your co-workers. Extravagant credentials at the beginning of a name or a convincing advertisement of a pill is all it takes for the placebo effect to break through our defenses.
Another reason for why our brains are so easily fooled by the placebo effect is the feeling of safety, which makes us believe that the placebo effect cured our issues. To illustrate, a child is hit in the shin with a baseball, hard. His friend, who accidentally kicked the ball with too much force, excuses himself, but goes back to playing, leaving the sobbing victim alone. His favorite teacher sees what is going on and goes over to the child. She tells him that everything will be fine, that his injury is just a bruise, and that she will guide him to the nurse. The victim suddenly feels safer as a result of the social support he received from the teacher. He nearly forgets about his pain and smiles as he limps towards the nurse’s office (Humphrey). This is a fantastic example of how social support can lead to the placebo effect. Physically, there were no major changes in the condition of the child’s shin from when his friend apologized to when his
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