The ‘knowcebo’ effect; an investigation into the relationship between knowledge, anticipation and the placebo effect

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Leader, John Francis
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Various theories exist to explain the placebo effect, the most prominent being that of expectation and classical conditioning. The present study tests the notion of the ‘knowcebo’; a placebo effect that is brought about when a participant has knowledge that they may be receiving a placebo. Three independent variable groups were administered a placebo but told according to group that it was either a stimulant, placebo or that there was a 50/50 chance of it being either. No significant difference was found between groups or within participants for the dependent variables of energy, focus or alertness however there was a significant increase in alertness for those in the 50/50 group who believed that they did in fact receive a placebo.