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nocebo effect

Undesirable effect that is or could be caused by an inactive treatment, presumed to act psychologically through suggestion

Full explanation:

Nocebo effects are undesirable effects of an inactive treatment, such as drugs, devices, or procedures without active ingredients. Active treatments can also have nocebo effects. For this reason placebos are sometimes given to a comparison group in studies to distinguish between placebo effects and nocebo effects, and treatment effects beyond any placebo or nocebo effects.

See also:

placebo effect

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