Did You Know? Just Lie To Me And Give Me A Skittle If We Don’t Have Advil

Tasting the rainbow is better than nothing. Or, is it?

⚗️You might have heard of the term placebo, a fake pill that’s often used to test new drugs. Meanwhile, the “placebo effect” is when your brain tricks your body to think you’re receiving real treatment. (Our brains are really good at tricking us) What you might NOT know is that there is a complete opposite — nocebo effect. Nocebo effect is when a placebo is taken but has done harm to the patient, whether physical or psychological.

🍆Curious researchers called in two groups of HBP (a.k.a. hypertension) patients to find out how the nocebo effect works. They were both asked to take pills. One group was told that the pills would cause ED (erectile dysfunction), whereas the other group had no idea of any side effects. Their results showed that those who “knew” about it were twice as likely to ED. Nocebo effect was at full force fucking with peoples’ minds.

💉It’s not just these HBP patients at risk. The nocebo effect is at play with regular check-ups too. Remember when the nurses are like: “This might sting a bit”? Or when they’re warning you with “This is going to hurt, bear with me”? You might “feel” is hurt more than it actually does. (or you might not trust the people injecting stuff into your body)

Whether it’s placebo or nocebo, different types of anticipation are always changing how we feel. Sometimes how we think or what we believe in matters more than what is real.

It might have sounded like we were joking around, but as always, we’re also serious.

If you know your economics, the expected utility hypothesis plays a major role in how uncertainty works, especially when it comes to the decision-making of our future economy.

If you also studied psychology, you’d probably remind yourself about the confirmation bias as well. Taken these two theories into account, perhaps you’d realize why we focus so much on the different realities we believe in. More often than not, we can’t tell what’s real anymore.

Maybe this is also why politicians are never doing a good job. Because we’re so stuck in our versions of realities, some people think the world’s becoming a better place, while others are always undergoing different struggles.

Perspectives are what I think can help establish good communication. Putting yourself in others’ shoes is always the first step.




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Illustrating science since 2017 from Taipei. We serve fast food for the thought in this town. (っ◔◡◔)っ This is where we keep our fact sources and art.