Mindworks’ Weblog

Thinking Matters

Thinking, feeling and the placebo effect

Posted by Andrew Cooper on December 30, 2008

The placebo effect takes the idea that ‘you feel how you think’ (an idea which, as I’ve mentioned in various posts, is at the heart of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to quite astonishing extremes.

Ben Goldacre’s two programmes about placebos are well worth a listen.  As he points out, some of the findings – particularly those related to the physical changes that placebos can bring about are ‘outrageous’: all the more so because they are true.  The programmes are only available in streaming audio, rather than MP3 downloads, incidentally so you will need to listen to them on your computer.

Meanwhile Peter Preston writes about an aspect of the GEM (Global Economic Meltdown) that’s worth remembering.   He points that there is ‘no bonus for keeping calm, or in any way downplaying the state we’re possibly in’: it all adds to the rather extreme loss of confidence that has afflicted the markets and banking system. Perhaps we need to organise some assertiveness training for the former Masters of the Universe?


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