Definition Argument First Draft – PaulaJean5

Many people are unaware about just how much their mind controls their conscious/subconscious actions. You watch a commercial for some type of food, but you’re not exactly watching it. Unless it is the Super Bowl, you are probably too preoccupied with something else to be watching the commercials between your show. But then why when you go to the grocery store, are you craving this random kind of food? You don’t exactly think twice about it and you buy it anyway. That commercial that was on in the background subconsciously effected your actions without you even realizing.

This happens all day, everyday. What you glance at, hear, smell, hear; all of this is you exploring the world around you. But you do not give much thought to every single thing you see and hear. How does this happen? Sometimes it happens due to expectations and some occur just because your subconscious mind is more alert than your conscious. This is called the Placebo effect.

The Placebo effect is usually mentioned in terms of medical and pharmaceutical trials. Doctors are given an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group will receive the actual medicine and the control group will receive the placebo, or sugar pill. The most effective way to conduct this kind of experiment is double-blind. This means that the groups don’t know what they are receiving and the experimenter/doctor does not know who is receiving what.

3 thoughts on “Definition Argument First Draft – PaulaJean5”

  1. I’m fifty percent convinced about your premise, PJ.

    I agree our subconscious is powerful and that it affects our behavior. I agree we can be encouraged to buy products we don’t consciously desire but somehow gravitate toward. But unless I completely misunderstand the Placebo effect, prompting me to buy products through subliminal suggestion is not the proof of the effect. Convincing me TO ENJOY it would be the proof.

    In double-blind studies, as you suggest, one group thinks it’s getting medicine, the other group knows it isn’t. The equivalent experiment for your impulse pizza buyer would be: one group knows it’s getting nothing special, the other group has been told to expect an exceptional experience and then rates its satisfaction MUCH HIGHER than the group that wasn’t pre-sold.

    Since you mentioned the Super Bowl, suppose 100 non-fans were shown different versions of a pre-game show. In the first, all the football experts praise the Patriots as invincible, citing their superior offense. In the second, all the football experts praise the Eagles, citing their superior defense. If the nonfans are asked to report on their impressions of the game while it’s being played, what outcome would demonstrate the Placebo effect?

    Is that a fair question?
    I thrive on interaction, PJ. If you respond, I’ll quickly learn that you value feedback.


    1. I agree with your first point and I will revise that! It definitely makes the enjoy it instead of buy it. Thank you. But, a double-blind study means nobody knows. Neither the doctor or the two groups know. This way it insures language that won’t sway somebody one way or the other. I don’t exactly understand the question about the Super Bowl. I was really only focusing on the commercials because most people watch all of the commercials during that game. I do appreciate the feedback and it definitely helped me shape my thinking a little bit more. 🙂


      1. You’re exactly right, PJ. I didn’t design a good double-blind study at all. Single-blind, yes. My point was that patients who are given a placebo are influenced by the expectation that they will find improvement in their condition. In my clumsy example, the panel of experts was supposed to convey the same sort of authority and expectation that occurs when a patient trusts in the integrity, expertise, and medical knowledge of the physicians prescribing a medication.

        Did that help undo the damage of my lame example?

        (Thank you for the feedback on the feedback. I’m learning to ask.)


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