Nocebo Effect

Nocebo Effect

What is it?

Nocebo Effect is a bias that makes people feel pain or discomfort when they are told that a certain treatment would cause such side effects even though it doesn't.

The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. It is a psychological phenomenon where a person experiences negative side effects or worsening of symptoms after receiving an inert or inactive treatment. This occurs because the person believes the treatment will cause harm or have no positive effect. The nocebo effect shows how our expectations and mindset can negatively impact our health.

Simple examples:

  1. Sugar pill: Imagine someone who takes a pill that they believe might cause headaches. In reality, the pill is just made of sugar and has no active ingredients. However, after taking the pill, the person experiences a headache because they genuinely believed the pill would cause it. This is an example of the nocebo effect.

  2. Injections: A person might be told that they will receive a pain-relief injection, but instead, they receive a harmless saline solution. If the person is anxious about the injection and believes it will be painful, they may still experience pain or discomfort during the injection process even though the saline solution itself should not cause any pain.

  3. Doctor's warning: A doctor might warn a patient about potential side effects of a new medi ...