This Video Will Hurt! The Nocebo Effect [6:47]


A Nocebo is a thing that causes harm because you believe it will cause harm.  So, like the placebo effect, there is no direct causal relationship, but the effect still holds because our brains are, well, really weird.  The video starts off with a great demonstration of this and then gets into a fascinating discussion of medical studies, studies of the effect, memes, mass psychogenic illness, and the effects of media and news coverage.

Discussion Questions

  • Did you feel anything during the demonstration in the beginning?
  • How is the nocebo effect related to placebos?
  • How are the placebo and nacebo effects like memes?  How are they different?
  • So, can our beliefs themselves affect the physical world?  If yes, in what way?  In what ways can’t they?

Keywords: nocebo, placebo, psychology, bias, media, belief, meme, conspiracy theories, causality


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