You get what you pay for

This week’s Bad Science rounds-up several intriguing studies that have found that money does more than make the world go round, it changes how we think, feel and perceive.

The piece looks at several studies where participants paid more, or thought they were getting something of a ‘higher value’, even though there was no actual difference in what they received.

In each case, the ‘higher value’ items things had more of an impact. One study is particularly impressive:

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March subjected 82 healthy subjects to painful electric shocks, offering them pain relief in the form of a pill which was described as being similar to the opiate codeine, but with a faster onset, in a lengthy and authoritative leaflet. In fact it was just a placebo, a pill with no medicine, a sugar pill, like a homeopathy pill. The pain relief was significantly stronger when subjects were told the tablet cost $2.50 than when they were told it cost 10c.

Link to Badscience on money and psychology.

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