The placebo effect is one of the most fascinating things in the whole of medicine. It’s not just about taking a pill, and your performance and your pain getting better. It’s about our beliefs and expectations. It’s about the cultural meaning of a treatment.

Ben Goldacre

Quotation #17241

About This Quote

“Battling Bad Science.” TEDGlobal 2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation.

Source: "Battling Bad Science." TEDGlobal 2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: This quote by doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre means that the placebo effect -- the scientific phenomenon wherein a medical intervention works because the person receiving it believes it will work -- is interesting because it shows how people's beliefs affect medical treatment. The quote is Goldacre's 2011 TED Talk about the prevalence of "bad science," for example, people mistaking the placebo effect as evidence a medication works. Watch the full TED Talk here: Ben Goldacre - Battling Bad Science