I encourage you to think more seriously about “placebo effect” and to sepaerate it from other effects like “belief in the medicine”. As an aside, regression to the mean is neither an effect nor a cause, it is a statistical concept. Nothing is caused by “regression to the mean”.
Now, about placebo effect. Let’s look at Webster’s dictionary definition:
Webster’s Placebo Effect: “improvement in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment used“.
Placebo effects exist when:
- the doctor believes a patient has a medical condition
- the doctor believes the condition has been treated, by the doctor, by another doctor, or perhaps self-treated by the patient.
- the doctor observes or believes the treatment was followed by an improvement in the patient’s condition.
- the doctor believes the improvement was NOT caused by said treatment.
- the doctor dismisses the treatment, often dismissing the benefit as well, calling it a “placebo effect”.
- The doctor does not know the cause of the improvement.
Every effect has a real cause. Every cause has a cause. Every effect has a real chain of causes. As soon as the cause is known, it’s a real effect with a real cause, not a placebo effect.
Placebo effects are created in the mind of the doctor. Placebo effects are not caused by the beliefs of the patient. Effects caused by the beliefs of the patient are “effects caused by the beliefs of the patient” which also have causal chains to be studied, and should be studied as such.
Placebo effects are caused by the beliefs of the doctor.
to your health, tracy