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No. 708: Double bind

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Double bind

First | Previous | 2018-04-26 | Next | Latest

Strip by: David Morgan-Mar, Ian Boreham

T-Rex: Did you know that the placebo effect works even if the patient is told it's a placebo?
T-Rex: TRUE![1]
T-Rex: The main problem is that bacteria are developing placebo resistance due to over-prescription.
Utahraptor: So we need to develop new types of placebo?
T-Rex: Yes!
Utahraptor: I just realised placebos have so many practical uses!
T-Rex: Indeed!
T-Rex: This comic uses placebo humour!

The author writes:

This comic was trialled in a double blind experiment in which half the participants were given a placebo comic[2]. It was shown at the 95% confidence level that 50% of readers laughed just as hard at this comic as the placebo.

[1] "Placebos can work even when you know they're fakes", New Scientist, 23 Dec 2010. "Placebos without Deception: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Irritable Bowel Syndrome"; Ted J. Kaptchuk , Elizabeth Friedlander, John M. Kelley, M. Norma Sanchez, Efi Kokkotou, Joyce P. Singer, Magda Kowalczykowski, Franklin G. Miller, Irving Kirsch, Anthony J. Lembo; PLOS One; 22 Dec 2010.

[2] i.e. this Fred Basset strip.