Over its history, medicine has vacillated between acknowledging placebo effects as important and trying to overcome them. Placebos are controversial, in part, because they appear to challenge a biocentric view of the scientific basis of medical practice. At the very least, research should distinguish between the effects of placebos on subjective and objective endpoints. Theoretically, placebos are of interest because they underscore the other side of the mind-body problem: how mental states can affect physical conditions.
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