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In a previous post on the global personality factor, you provided examples to describe how self-report items indicating higher trait levels are phrased in more socially desirable terms, hence the positive bias. I think it's important to distinguish between two (or three) kinds of biases here: one is related to the wording/content of the items (the positive ...


It has been shown that even if you tell a patient this pill is placebo and it's not going to help you, there's still some positive effect. It's all about perception. There was a really good TED talk with the topic "Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?" at TEDxAmericanRiviera presented by Lissa Rankin, MD.


Not an answer, because I couldn't find any studies, but too long for a comment: Placebos aren't arbitrary. You are not given chocolate chips as a placebo treatment for a cold. The placebeo has the form of a "real" treatment for the illness or disorder, e.g. a pill without an agent. This means that in your experiment your subjects must treat themselves ...

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