Explaining the placebo effect: Aliefs, beliefs, and conditioning

Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):679-698 (2011)
Abstract
There are a number of competing psychological accounts of the placebo effect, and much of the recent debate centers on the relative importance of classical conditioning and conscious beliefs. In this paper, I discuss apparent problems with these accounts and with?disjunctive? accounts that deny that placebo effects can be given a unified psychological explanation. The fact that some placebo effects seem to be mediated by cognitive states with content that is consciously inaccessible and inferentially isolated from a subject's beliefs motivates an account of the placebo effect in terms of subdoxastic cognitive states. I propose that aliefs, subdoxastic cognitive states that are associative, automatic, and arational, can provide a unified psychological account of the placebo effect. This account also has the potential to illuminate interesting connections to other psychological phenomena
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.559624
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References found in this work BETA
Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
Alief in Action (and Reaction).Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (5):552--585.
Beliefs and Subdoxastic States.Stephen P. Stich - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (December):499-518.
Scientific Explanation.Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.) - 1989 - Univ of Minnesota Pr.
Pain and the Placebo: What We Have Learned.Ginger A. Hoffman, Anne Harrington & Howard L. Fields - 2005 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 48 (2):248-265.

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