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The brain and illusions
What can illusions teach us about the brain?
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Worried Sick | The Scientist Magazine®

Worried Sick | The Scientist Magazine® | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Expectations can make you ill. Fear can make you fragile. Understanding the nocebo effect may help prevent this painful phenomenon.
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Very interesting article on the nocebo effect - feelings worse after being told you might feel worse and not because of any 'real' side-effects of the drug. 

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Acupuncture is a theatrical placebo: the end of a myth

Acupuncture is a theatrical placebo: the end of a myth | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Anesthesia & Analgesia is the official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society. In 2012 its editor, Steven Shafer, proposed a head-to-head contest between those who believe tha...
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The negative side of the "acupuncture is effective" argument.

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Pain in the brain

Pain in the brain | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
You don’t just experience pain physically. The amount of pain you perceive is influenced by environmental factors – for example sound, temperature and your surroundings – and psychological factors,...
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9 Simple Suggestions That Change People’s Perceptions — PsyBlog

9 Simple Suggestions That Change People’s Perceptions — PsyBlog | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Can we improve our own and other people’s lives with the simple power of suggestion?
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How Superstitions And Rituals Encourage You To Achieve Your Goals

How Superstitions And Rituals Encourage You To Achieve Your Goals | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Michael Jordan wore his college team’s shorts underneath his Bulls uniform because he believed it brought him good luck. If six NBA championship...
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Vaughan Bell: the truth about lie detectors

Vaughan Bell: the truth about lie detectors | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
'Lie detectors' are highly fallible, yet suspects are more likely to tell the truth when wired up to them.
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Double-Blind Studies

Double-Blind Studies | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

I once took alternative medicine on faith. For decades, I practiced it on patients and myself and my family, and assumed that pretty much all of it worked. Then I learned about double-blind studies, and it was like a tornado blowing down a house of cards. I discovered that I, like most people who love alternative medicine, had made a huge (though understandable) mistake.

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The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect

A look at the many strange effects of placebos. Created by: Daniel Keogh - http://www.twitter.com/ProfessorFunk Luke Harris - http://www.lukeharrisgraphics.c...
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The Pervasive Problem With Placebos in Psychology

The Pervasive Problem With Placebos in Psychology | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

From the Abstract: "To draw causal conclusions about the efficacy of a psychological intervention, researchers must compare the treatment condition with a control group that accounts for improvements caused by factors other than the treatment. Using an active control helps to control for the possibility that improvement by the experimental group resulted from a placebo effect. Although active control groups are superior to “no-contact” controls, only when the active control group has the same expectation of improvement as the experimental group can we attribute differential improvements to the potency of the treatment. Despite the need to match expectations between treatment and control groups, almost no psychological interventions do so."

Gerald Carey's insight:

Is the placebo effect more pervasive that we thought? It even mentions video games!

Warning: long article and not for the faint hearted but still interesting.

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How The Mind Really Works: 10 Counterintuitive Psychology Studies — PsyBlog

How The Mind Really Works: 10 Counterintuitive Psychology Studies — PsyBlog | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Ten psychological findings that challenge our intuitive view of how our minds work.
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This includes topics such as: cognitive dissonance, the placebo effect, obedience, suppression, multi-tasking. A good summary of the latest research.

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How the Power of Expectations Can Allow You to ‘Bend Reality’: Scientific American

How the Power of Expectations Can Allow You to ‘Bend Reality’: Scientific American | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Chris Berdik, a science journalist and former staff editor at The Atlantic, begins with a simple premise: expectations matter. The notion is well-known in medicine, where doctors have known the power of the “placebo effect” for a long time. But it turns out that this same psychological machinery holds sway in many realms, that what we bring to a situation can, in some sense, bend reality.

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The power of suggestion: What we expect influences our behavior, for better or worse

The power of suggestion: What we expect influences our behavior, for better or worse | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
A lucky rabbit foot. A glass of wine. A pill. What do these things all have in common? Their effects -- whether we do well on a test, whether we mingle at the cocktail party, whether we feel better -- all depend on the power of suggestion.
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Psychic healers may have synesthesia « Psychology Blog

Psychic healers may have synesthesia « Psychology Blog | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Synesthesia describes the experience that some people have, where the stimulation of one sense results in other senses being stimulated. For example words take on different colours and may create a sensation of certain smells. A recent study by Milán et al. (2012) found that many psychic healers who claim to see the aura of their patients are actually synesthetes.

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10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Psychology has a reputation for being the science of common sense, or a field that simply confirms things we already know about ourselves.
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Placebo buttons and the illusion of control « Another angry woman

Some things are not what they seem. You perform an action, you get the desired result. You’re in charge. You have power, you have agency.

So you think.

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