Placebo trials without mechanisms: How far can they go?

David Teira . (2019) Placebo trials without mechanisms: How far can they go?.

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Título Placebo trials without mechanisms: How far can they go?
Autor(es) David Teira
Materia(s) Filosofía
Abstract In this paper, I suggest that placebo effects, as we know them today, should be understood as experimental phenomena, low-level regularities whose causal structure is grasped through particular experimental designs with little theoretical guidance. Focusing on placebo interventions with needles for pain reduction -one of the few placebo regularities that seems to arise in meta-analytical studies- I discuss the extent to which it is possible to decompose the different factors at play through more fine-grained randomized clinical trials. My sceptical argument is twofold. On the one hand, I argue that experiments alone are not enough to standardize interventions, and that it is necessary to include theories. On the other hand, I argue that the social interactions that seem to be part of placebo effects are difficult, if not impossible, to blind. Therefore, the measurement biases arising from the participants’ reactivity to the experimental setup cannot be controlled for. Further decomposition of placebo effects requires a theoretical account of the existing experimental regularities that may guide further tests.
Palabras clave placebo
clinical trials
Fecha 2019-07-01
Formato application/pdf
Identificador bibliuned:501121
DOI - identifier
Nombre de la revista Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Versión de la publicación acceptedVersion
Tipo de recurso Article
Derechos de acceso y licencia
Tipo de acceso Acceso abierto

Tipo de documento: Artículo de revista
Collection: Departamento Lógica, Historia, Filosofía de la Ciencia (UNED). Artículos
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Creado: Wed, 03 Jul 2019, 23:25:10 CET by David Teira