YANSS Podcast 019 – Placebo sleep and other new discoveries in placebo research

The Topic: The Placebo Effect

The Guest: Kristi Erdal

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Photo Illustration by Candy (it's aspirin)
Photo Illustration by the artist known as Candy (it’s aspirin)

How powerful is the placebo effect? After a good night’s sleep could a scientist convince you that you had tossed and turned, and if so, how would that affect your perceptions and behavior? What if a doctor told you that you had slept like a baby when in reality you had barely slept at all? Would hearing those words improve your performance on a difficult test?

In this episode we learn the answers to these questions and more as we explore how research continues to unravel the mysteries behind the placebo effect and how it can drastically alter our bodies and minds.

Kristi ErdalOur guest is Kristi Erdal, a psychologist at Colorado College who discovered placebo sleep along with one of her students, Christina Draganich. Draganich wondered if such a thing might exist after reading all the literature on placebos, and Erdal helped her create the research methods she used to test her hypothesis. Erdal’s page at Colorado College can be found here.

After the interview, I discuss a news story about how important eccentricity is when it comes to evaluating an artist’s work.

In every episode, before I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, “You Are Now Less Dumb,” and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Natalie Sun who submitted a recipe for White Chocolate Oreo Cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at} youarenotsosmart.com.

White Chocolate Oreos

Links and Sources

The Episode: Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Soundcloud

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

Steve Silberman’s Article About The Placebo Effect

Kristi Erdal’s Page at Colorado College

The Placebo Sleep Press Release

The Placebo Sleep Abstract

Eccentricity of Artists Article

Beecher’s Paper: The Powerful Placebo

Ben Goldacher Talks About the Placebo Effect

Daniel Keogh’s Video About the Placebo Effect