The Lack of Side Effects of an Ineffective Treatment Facilitates the Development of a Belief in Its Effectiveness
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{"title"=>"The lack of side effects of an ineffective treatment facilitates the development of a belief in its effectiveness", "type"=>"journal", "authors"=>[{"first_name"=>"Fernando", "last_name"=>"Blanco", "scopus_author_id"=>"35777348200"}, {"first_name"=>"Itxaso", "last_name"=>"Barberia", "scopus_author_id"=>"24472859600"}, {"first_name"=>"Helena", "last_name"=>"Matute", "scopus_author_id"=>"6603794359"}], "year"=>2014, "source"=>"PLoS ONE", "identifiers"=>{"isbn"=>"1932-6203 (Electronic)\\r1932-6203 (Linking)", "pmid"=>"24416194", "pui"=>"372732117", "issn"=>"19326203", "doi"=>"10.1371/journal.pone.0084084", "scopus"=>"2-s2.0-84897391683", "sgr"=>"84897391683"}, "id"=>"900ebc30-5b55-3b39-ae12-6dcecef3dc80", "abstract"=>"Some alternative medicines enjoy widespread use, and in certain situations are preferred over conventional, validated treatments in spite of the fact that they fail to prove effective when tested scientifically. We propose that the causal illusion, a basic cognitive bias, underlies the belief in the effectiveness of bogus treatments. Therefore, the variables that modulate the former might affect the latter. For example, it is well known that the illusion is boosted when a potential cause occurs with high probability. In this study, we examined the effect of this variable in a fictitious medical scenario. First, we showed that people used a fictitious medicine (i.e., a potential cause of remission) more often when they thought it caused no side effects. Second, the more often they used the medicine, the more likely they were to develop an illusory belief in its effectiveness, despite the fact that it was actually useless. This behavior may be parallel to actual pseudomedicine usage; that because a treatment is thought to be harmless, it is used with high frequency, hence the overestimation of its effectiveness in treating diseases with a high rate of spontaneous relief. This study helps shed light on the motivations spurring the widespread preference of pseudomedicines over scientific medicines. This is a valuable first step toward the development of scientifically validated strategies to counteract the impact of pseudomedicine on society.", "link"=>"http://www.mendeley.com/research/lack-side-effects-ineffective-treatment-facilitates-development-belief-effectiveness", "reader_count"=>15, "reader_count_by_academic_status"=>{"Professor > Associate Professor"=>1, "Researcher"=>5, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>4, "Student > Master"=>1, "Other"=>1, "Student > Bachelor"=>1, "Lecturer"=>1, "Professor"=>1}, "reader_count_by_user_role"=>{"Professor > Associate Professor"=>1, "Researcher"=>5, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>4, "Student > Master"=>1, "Other"=>1, "Student > Bachelor"=>1, "Lecturer"=>1, "Professor"=>1}, "reader_count_by_subject_area"=>{"Unspecified"=>2, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>1, "Business, Management and Accounting"=>1, "Psychology"=>10, "Decision Sciences"=>1}, "reader_count_by_subdiscipline"=>{"Decision Sciences"=>{"Decision Sciences"=>1}, "Psychology"=>{"Psychology"=>10}, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>{"Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>1}, "Business, Management and Accounting"=>{"Business, Management and Accounting"=>1}, "Unspecified"=>{"Unspecified"=>2}}, "group_count"=>0}

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Figshare

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  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/1342790"], "description"=>"<p>These consisted of a picture and a message. Each patient either recovered from the crisis (left column) or not (right column). In addition, the cost (side effect) of the action was depicted as a permanent skin rash whenever it was used (top row). The skin rash was never observed otherwise (bottom row). In the no-cost group, regardless the decision to use the medicine, the stimuli were identical to those presented in the bottom row, except for the removal of the reference to side effects in the accompanying messages (i.e., <i>“The patient has recovered from the crisis”</i> or <i>“The patient has not recovered from the crisis”</i> for the left and right panels, respectively).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["high-cost"], "article_id"=>897513, "categories"=>["Biological Sciences", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Fernando Blanco", "Itxaso Barberia", "Helena Matute"], "doi"=>["https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084084.g002"], "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>0, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Stimuli_used_to_represent_the_outcome_information_in_the_high_cost_group_/897513", "title"=>"Stimuli used to represent the outcome information in the high-cost group.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2014-01-08 04:35:49"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/1342791"], "description"=>"<p>The left panel shows the mean probability of introducing the potential cause, P(Cause), in each of the two groups. The right panel shows the mean effectiveness judgments given by participants in the two groups. Error bars depict 95% confidence intervals for the means.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>[], "article_id"=>897514, "categories"=>["Biological Sciences", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Fernando Blanco", "Itxaso Barberia", "Helena Matute"], "doi"=>["https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084084.g003"], "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>0, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Results_of_the_experiment_/897514", "title"=>"Results of the experiment.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2014-01-08 04:35:49"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/1342792"], "description"=>"<p>The total effect of the cost of the action on the effectiveness judgments, depicted as path c (top panel), is partitioned into two components, one indirect effect through P(Cause) (paths a and b, bottom panel), and one direct effect (path c', bottom panel), which is the result of discounting the indirect effect. The unstandardized coefficients and p-values for each pathway are provided. These results suggest that the effect of the cost associated with the treatment, manipulated between groups, was completely mediated by P(Cause).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>[], "article_id"=>897515, "categories"=>["Biological Sciences", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Fernando Blanco", "Itxaso Barberia", "Helena Matute"], "doi"=>["https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084084.g004"], "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>0, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Mediational_structure_underlying_the_experimental_manipulation_/897515", "title"=>"Mediational structure underlying the experimental manipulation.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2014-01-08 04:35:49"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/1342797"], "description"=>"<div><p>Some alternative medicines enjoy widespread use, and in certain situations are preferred over conventional, validated treatments in spite of the fact that they fail to prove effective when tested scientifically. We propose that the causal illusion, a basic cognitive bias, underlies the belief in the effectiveness of bogus treatments. Therefore, the variables that modulate the former might affect the latter. For example, it is well known that the illusion is boosted when a potential cause occurs with high probability. In this study, we examined the effect of this variable in a fictitious medical scenario. First, we showed that people used a fictitious medicine (i.e., a potential cause of remission) more often when they thought it caused no side effects. Second, the more often they used the medicine, the more likely they were to develop an illusory belief in its effectiveness, despite the fact that it was actually useless. This behavior may be parallel to actual pseudomedicine usage; that because a treatment is thought to be harmless, it is used with high frequency, hence the overestimation of its effectiveness in treating diseases with a high rate of spontaneous relief. This study helps shed light on the motivations spurring the widespread preference of pseudomedicines over scientific medicines. This is a valuable first step toward the development of scientifically validated strategies to counteract the impact of pseudomedicine on society.</p></div>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["ineffective", "facilitates"], "article_id"=>897517, "categories"=>["Biological Sciences", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Fernando Blanco", "Itxaso Barberia", "Helena Matute"], "doi"=>["https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084084"], "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>0, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_The_Lack_of_Side_Effects_of_an_Ineffective_Treatment_Facilitates_the_Development_of_a_Belief_in_Its_Effectiveness_/897517", "title"=>"The Lack of Side Effects of an Ineffective Treatment Facilitates the Development of a Belief in Its Effectiveness", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2014-01-08 04:35:49"}

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