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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins by debunking some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding placebo effects, through a survey of some of the discoveries that have been made in the last fifty years about the range, frequency, and potency of placebo effects in medicine and psychiatry. It then looks at how placebo effects make an appearance in psychiatry and psychotherapy, particularly in the case of treatments of depression that involve psychoactive medication and/or talk therapy. Following this is a survey of some of the leading definitions of the placebo effect, as well as a survey of some of the leading explanatory theories. The chapter concludes with a discussion of some new directions in placebo research: namely, open-label placebos and the evolutionary origins of placebo effects.

Keywords: placebos, placebo effects, definitions, explanatory theories of placebo effects, open-label placebos

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