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University of Regina

The placebo effect  Placebo effect refers to an improvement in a physical or psychological condition that is attributable to a patients expectations of help rather than to any specific active ingredient in a treatment  The effects of pilgrimages to shrines such as Lourdes may be placebo effects  The placebo effect is commonly found and universally accepted in drug research. It has been estimated for ex that among depressed patients who respond favourably to antidepressant medication half are actually showing a placebo response  In psychotherapy the mere effect of being helped can be an active ingredient. Why? if the theory adopted by the therapist holds that positive expectancy of improvement is an active ingredient then improvement arising from the expectancy would by definition not be considered a place effect  “Placebo factors” should be replaced with the concept of “common factors” in the study of the effects of psychotherapy. They defined common factors as those that are common to most therapies  placebo control groups – patients in such groups typically have regular contact with a therapist and receive support and encouragement but they do not receive what is regarded as the active ingredients in the kind of therapy under study  neither the researcher nor the patient are aware if who has been placed in the treatment and placebo control groups.; the design is referred to as a double blind procedure  research reveals that patients in placebo control groups generally improve more than patients in treatment groups though often not as much as patients in treatment groups  properly designed psychological placebos are as effectivests accepted psychotherapies  but using a placebo control group involves several problems. 1 it raises ethical issues for effective treatment is being withheld from some patients who might be harmed without treatment  2 a double blind placebo control group study is difficult to implement. Medications used in treating psychopathology produce side effects that are not produced by placebos  both researcher and patients may come to know who is getting active treatment and who is getting the placebo.  Finally informed consent is an issue. Potential participants must be informed about the details of the study, which they are being asked to participate. In placebo control group participants must be told that they have some chance of being assigned to a placebo group. External validity  External validity is the extent to which results can be generalized beyond the immediate study—determining this is very hard  They will undoubtedly want to conclude that this treatment will be effective in ministering to other patients at other times and in other places  Knowing that your in an experiment can alter beh and the results in the lab might not be the same as in the real world. When results come from animals generalizations to humans are risky.  Best is to perform similar studies in new settings with new ppl so that limitations or the generality of a finding can be determined Analogue experiments  Experimental method is the most telling way to determine cause effect relationships but sometimes this method isn’t used in finding causes of ab beh and instead analogue experiment is used  Investigators attempt to bring a related phenomenon—that is an analogue –into the lab for more intensive study  In one type of analogue study beh is rendered temporarily ab through experimental manipulations EXAMPLES PG 146 READ!! Don’t realty get it  If pathology can be experimentally induced by any one of these manipulations the same process existing in the natural environment might well as a cause of the disorder  The key to interpreting such studies lies in the validity of the independent variable as a reflection of some experience one might actually have in real life and of the dependent variable as an analogue of a clinical problem  In another type of analogue study, participants are selected cuz they are considered similar to patients who have certain diagnoses  some animal experiments are analogue in nature/ they become analogue data when we draw implications from them and apply them to other domains such as anxiety in human beings  its not true though that principles of beh derived from animal research are necessarily irrelevant to human beh  harlows famous analogue research examined the effects of early separation from the mother on infant monkeys. Even a cloth surrogate mother helps prevent the subsequent emotional distress and depression that would result from isolation SINGLE –SUBJECT EXPERIMENATL RESEARCH  single subject experiment design participants are studied one at a time and experience a manipula
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