Semiotics and the Placebo Effect

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 53 (4):509-516 (2010)
Abstract
Despite growing scientific interest in the placebo effect and increasing understanding of neurobiological mechanisms (Finniss et al. 2010), theoretical conceptualization of the placebo effect remains primitive (Miller, Colloca, and Kaptchuk 2009). Mechanistic research on this phenomenon appears largely free-floating, with little guidance by any systematic theoretical paradigm. A partial explanation is the pervasive conceptual confusion that characterizes thinking about the placebo effect. The philosopher of science Adolf Grunbaum noted that "the medical and psychiatric literature on placebos and their effects is conceptually bewildering, to the point of being a veritable Tower of Babel" (Grunbaum 1994, p. 286). ..
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