Prior analgesic placebo research suggested three expectancies underlying placebo analgesia. First, self-related expectancy (expect the self has efficacy to tackle pain). Second, task-related expectancy (expect the cold-pressor-task is easy). Third, object-related expectancy (expect the placebo is highly effective). Recent research reported that possessing a placebo analgesic could sometimes induce placebo analgesia (Yeung et al., 2019; 2020; 2021; 2022), and proposed that such possession-based placebo effect could be due to object-to-self expectancy (expect the owned placebo can benefit the self). We examine whether perceived possession of a pain-reduction object induces these four expectancies.
Participants completed an online survey and were introduced to a mobile app claimed to adopt binaural beats to achieve pain reduction. One group of participants believed that they would receive the app as a gift (perceived possession condition, n=34), while the other group of participants did not (no-possession, n=41). All participants imagined engaging in a cold-pressor-task and rated their expectancies: self-related, task-related, object-related, and object-to-self expectancies.
Participants in the possession (vs. no-possession) condition reported higher self-related expectancy: perceived the self can control the app, p=.03; and have efficacy to tackle pain, p=.04. They also have higher task-related expectancy: perceived the cold-pressor-test to be easier, p=.04. Moreover, they have higher object-related expectancy: expected the app to be effective, p=.02, and fast to reduce pain, p=.05. Lastly, they reported greater object-to-self expectancy: expected the app to benefit the self, p=.02, and reported higher reward response, p=.01.
Perceived possession of a fictitious pain-reduction app induced positive expectancies.
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2023|
|Event||The 17th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine : From Local to Global : Behavior, Climate and Health - Vancouver, Canada|
Duration: 23 Aug 2023 → 26 Aug 2023
|Conference||The 17th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine : From Local to Global : Behavior, Climate and Health|
|Abbreviated title||ICBM 2023|
|Period||23/08/23 → 26/08/23|