A strangely effective video

Australian science reporter Professor Funk has made a fantastic animated video about the science of the placebo effect that’s three minutes of sheer joy even without an active ingredient.

It takes you through the remarkable ways in which the placebo effect differs between different types of pills, perceptions and places and is highly recommended.

Link to ‘The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect’ on YouTube.


  1. Io
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I didn’t like it. The music was, of course, terrible, but it wasn’t the dealbreaker: implying that taking placebos and not dying is a causal effect was. It should definitely be ruled out that both do not have the same cause (such as general lack of discipline, feeling nauseated etc.).

  2. Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Really want to start a business marketing “Placebex” and “Panaceatol” etc.

  3. Luke Lea
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I seem to recall a study a few years back which showed that the placebo effect was largely mythical. Can’t remember the methodology, but it might be worth a post.

  4. Luke Lea
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a link to the debunking study:

    Apparently you need to compare not just the people who got a placebo with those who got a real drug with demonstrated effect, but also with those who got no treatment at all. And it needs to be done outside a clinical setting — not sure how you do that.

  5. Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I really liked it. I like the idea of comparing with those that don’t take anything. I have always wanted to get some sugar pills and if a friend gets a pounding headache tell them I have found some really effective painkillers. But then it wouldn’t have the brand-name imapact.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mindhacks blog and oogle, Arian Kelley. Arian Kelley said: A strangely effective video: Australian science reporter Professor Funk has made a fantastic animated video abou… http://bit.ly/gEjDda […]

  2. […] Farbe ja sogar der Standort an dem die Pille eingenommen wird die Wirkung beeinflussen können. via mindhacks Tweet honki · 15.02.2011 · Science, Medicine, Placebo sr_adspace_id = […]

  3. […] recently came across this three-minute video on placebos via the consistently awesome Mind Hacks. If that sounds like something that might interest you I recommend the 180 second […]

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