Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Orlando SánchezEmail author
  • Martha Brownlee-Duffeck
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2067


The term placebo is originally derived from the Latin word placēbō meaning “I shall please.” Currently, there is no uniform consensus across scientific disciplines (e.g., psychology, medicine, etc.) on the construct of placebo and how to accurately define it. Nevertheless, placebo is traditionally conceived as a harmless artificial treatment that may be used in a clinical setting to pacify a patient or establish the efficacy of a drug or treatment procedure in experimental research by comparing the drug effect or clinical procedure to the placebo effect (Shapiro and Shapiro 1997). Likewise, the placebo effect, also referred to as the placebo response, is currently without a standard definition. Currently, the term broadly refers to the positive therapeutic outcome resulting from the administration of a placebo (i.e., fake treatment, sham surgery, or pharmacologically inert substance). It is important to note that there is currently some debate also concerning the terms...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG (outside the USA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Minneapolis VA Health Care SystemMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Harry S. Truman MemorialColumbiaUSA