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May 1962

Placebo Reactions in a Study of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25)

Author Affiliations

Research Center for Mental Health, New York University.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;6(5):369-383. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01710230037004

There has been a recent upsurge of interest in the reactions of placebo subjects under a wide range of conditions.3,9,10,16-19, 22,24 Indications that, after administration of an inert substance, certain persons report relief of pain or other therapeutic responses, as well as a wide range of subjective and "psychosomatic" effects, form the main basis for this interest.3,6,9,16,24 These observations are important both for studies of drug action and for more general studies of human functioning.

In a recent review of the pharmacology of placebos, Wolf24 discussed the mechanism of placebo reactions and stated that "the fundamental stimulus is the meaningful situation." In keeping with this view, responses to placebo administration will be viewed by us as responses to the stimulus conditions in their totality, which we will refer to as "the placebo situation." There are many relevant factors which determine a person's response to

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