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The powerful Nocebo effect!

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
    So you have this chain:

    A -> B -> C -> D -> E(state) -> P -> Q -> R -> X(death)

    and we are to assume no disease anywhere, not even ones usually referred to as mental diseases.

    What are we assuming about P, Q, and R? For example, Q could be erratic driving and R could be an automobile accident, but I presume that's not what you want.
    You're not listening. It's not just a chain of physical cause and effect, but chains.

    P might not come about purely due to E. Perhaps F,G,H,I and K need to be present or be occurring too. That is to say contemporaneously with E.

    Again we're not talking about voluntary behaviour which will lead to our deaths eg reckless driving. But rather a belief -- specifically a belief that we are ill (for nocebo) or we are in good health (for placebo).

    And by this we do not mean that this belief will lead to other behaviour with this behaviour being a link in a chain of cause and effect leading to our deaths, but rather that this belief will be the catalyst for deleterious or beneficent processes occurring in our bodies. So here we're thinking that the belief is a crucial ingredient, not that it does everything all by itself (F,G,H,I and K are needed in addition to E).

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    • #47
      Originally posted by JLI View Post
      Blood pressure fluctuates all day long. So I don't think that is where you should look for a cause of death in an otherwise healthy person.
      This is nonsense. High blood pressure can precipitate a stroke or heart attack. Otherwise I wouldn't bother to do loads of exercise all the time in order to keep my BP down! (I'm in excellent health apart from high blood pressure).


      But this is not what the nocebo effect is about.
      It's about out belief that we are ill playing a crucial role in our deaths. I want to know why this is unlikely given that anxiety can lead to HBP and hence death.

      Why must I keep repeating the same question?? Are skeptics capable of ever answering anything??

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      • #48
        Originally posted by JLI View Post
        I believe you are thinking of their previous paper, whic indeed did stir up the pot. This is an update including more trials. AFAIK, no one has challenged the updated review. An again - they don't claim that the placebo effect doesn't exist. Only that it isn't as big an effect as is commonly supposed.

        I suspect it's vastly bigger an effect than we commonly suppose.

        Forget your science. Where are your actual arguments??

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
          Fair enough. With enough caveats, I'm willing to call your report of a pink unicorn evidence of something. Two of the caveats are:
          • We are not using the term evidence as in scientific evidence.
          • In the case of a pink unicorn, your report is stunningly more likely evidence for your insanity than it is evidence that pink unicorns exist.


          ~~ Paul
          Insanity causes me to perceive a Pink Unicorn? Or causes me to lie about seeing one?

          No matter. This is the same reason why people are reluctant to report their NDEs -- especially prior to 1975. They didn't want materialists to think they're insane.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
            I suspect it's vastly bigger an effect than we commonly suppose.

            Forget your science. Where are your actual arguments??
            What?

            Forget your Arguments they are Worthless words, where is your science?

            Oh? Nowhere? Reason perhaps?

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            • #51
              Originally posted by porker View Post
              What?

              Forget your Arguments they are Worthless words, where is your science?

              Oh? Nowhere? Reason perhaps?
              For a kick off it won't get us very far. I suspect it will be similar to psi where proponents claim there's overwhelming evidence for psi, and skeptics emphatically assert there's none whatsoever!

              I see no reason to see why it should be different for the placebo/nocebo issue.

              No what we need to establish is why JLI and other skeptics think that nocebos/placebos are so unlikely -- that they cannot possibly play any role in a person dying, or indeed not dying.

              So we need to establish why a mental state of anxiety can lead to death (since anxiety causes HBP and HBP can lead to death), but the mental state of a belief cannot.

              Not sure how much science can help here?

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              • #52
                OK JLI what do you think about hexes? Might they be at work rather than the nocebo effect?

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Interesting Ian
                  You're not listening. It's not just a chain of physical cause and effect, but chains.

                  P might not come about purely due to E. Perhaps F,G,H,I and K need to be present or be occurring too. That is to say contemporaneously with E.
                  Of course. I even added another chain in my post #40.

                  Again we're not talking about voluntary behaviour which will lead to our deaths eg reckless driving. But rather a belief -- specifically a belief that we are ill (for nocebo) or we are in good health (for placebo).
                  Why is reckless driving voluntary but a belief is not? And what if the belief leads inexorably to the reckless driving? Why are we making this voluntary/involuntary distinction?

                  And by this we do not mean that this belief will lead to other behaviour with this behaviour being a link in a chain of cause and effect leading to our deaths, but rather that this belief will be the catalyst for deleterious or beneficent processes occurring in our bodies.
                  What's the difference? You're making an awful lot of distinctions without clearly explaining why. Where's the line between a behavior and a health-related physical process?

                  So here we're thinking that the belief is a crucial ingredient, not that it does everything all by itself (F,G,H,I and K are needed in addition to E).
                  I never suggested it would do it all by itself. You appear to have missed P, Q, and R in my diagram.

                  A -> B -> C -> D -> E(state) -> P -> Q -> R -> X(death)

                  Anyway, I think we agree that E can contribute to X. The question is whether we can crisply distinguish E from A, B, C, D, F, G, P, Q, and R. That is, whether there really is a "mental state in and of itself."

                  ~~ Paul

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Interesting Ian
                    Insanity causes me to perceive a Pink Unicorn? Or causes me to lie about seeing one?
                    Take your pick.

                    No matter. This is the same reason why people are reluctant to report their NDEs -- especially prior to 1975. They didn't want materialists to think they're insane.
                    But I was talking about a jury, not materialists. Is the typical jury okay with you reporting that you saw a pink unicorn?

                    Are you suggesting that someone's report of a pink unicorn is quite likely evidence of actual pink unicorns and only very unlikely evidence of insanity?

                    ~~ Paul
                    Last edited by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos; November 17th, 2011, 06:06 PM.

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                    • #55
                      It is absolutely ludicrous to suppose that voluntarily killing yourself comes under the nocebo effect!

                      Sorry Paul but I'm not going to waste any more time with you.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
                        This is nonsense. High blood pressure can precipitate a stroke or heart attack. Otherwise I wouldn't bother to do loads of exercise all the time in order to keep my BP down! (I'm in excellent health apart from high blood pressure).
                        It is not nonsense. The blood pressure during exercise is significantly higher than during rest. It is not even controversial.
                        Are skeptics capable of ever answering anything??
                        Not to your satisfaction - it seems.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
                          I suspect it's vastly bigger an effect than we commonly suppose.

                          Forget your science. Where are your actual arguments??
                          Without the science we only have our intuition. If I understand you correctly, your intuition tells you that a placebo can do almost everything. My intuition tells me another thing. Fair tests or science if you will is a good way to check out whose intuition is most accurate.
                          Last edited by JLI; November 18th, 2011, 01:55 AM.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
                            OK JLI what do you think about hexes? Might they be at work rather than the nocebo effect?
                            What effect? Are you seing unicorns again?
                            My intuition tells me that a digit between 0 and F will not have an impact.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by JLI View Post
                              Without the science we only have our intuition. If I understand you correctly, your intuition tells you that a placebo can do almost everything. My intuition tells me another thing. Fair tests or science if you will is a good way to check out whose intuition is most accurate.
                              Can you please offer a working definition of Science?

                              I'm really unsure wether you are serious when claiming that without science we have only our intuition, whatever that means.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by JLI View Post
                                Blood pressure fluctuates all day long. So I don't think that is where you should look for a cause of death in an otherwise healthy person.
                                Interesting Ian
                                This is nonsense. High blood pressure can precipitate a stroke or heart attack. Otherwise I wouldn't bother to do loads of exercise all the time in order to keep my BP down! (I'm in excellent health apart from high blood pressure).
                                It is not nonsense. The blood pressure during exercise is significantly higher than during rest. It is not even controversial.
                                Let's remind yourself of your claim. High blood pressure does not play any role in precipitating death. As you well know it is this which I'm saying is nonsense.

                                But on a side note. I'll ask you the same question as I asked my doctor. Depending on how many miles I've run, my BP is down hugely immediately after exercise. We're talking about approximately 3 mins after I've stopped running. Is there not a discrepancy between this fact and your claim (and my doctors claim) that BP goes way up during exercise?? Because if you're right there must be an absolutely momentous drop in BP in a very short period of time after one stops exercising! That certainly isn't the case with my pulse which is still normally about 70- 80 after the 3 minutes (roundabout 55 normally although has been as low as 42 on first getting up on the morning).

                                Are skeptics capable of ever answering anything??
                                Not to your satisfaction - it seems.
                                Not to your satisfaction - it seems.
                                Well yeah, you failed to answer anything in this post too! You chose instead to respond with a complete non-sequitur!

                                Comment

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