The placebo effect is where a person is given a fake drug or other and it works the same way as a regular drug or whatever.
There was a instance of this in the TV show M.A.S.H.: one character was given sugar pills or something and was told it would cool his body down. He could walk around in sweaters and fur and not break a sweat in 90 degree heat while everyone else was basically dying. He was later told it was a fake, and he immediately broke into a sweat.
Several studies and experiments have been done to see the effect of the placebo effect.
Some doctors have been known to give placebos to patients who think they have an illness and want something to get rid of it with (usually older women past menopause).
Have you ever been given a placebo? Or have you ever given a placebo to someone else?
My professor told me of two 15 or 16 yr old boys who went into a bar. The bartender made the boys a mixed drink and went about his business while the boys took their drinks and went to play pool. My professor pulled the bartender aside and asked, "Won't you get in trouble giving those boys alcohol?"
"No," said the bartender, "it isn't alcohol. We have a bottle under the table here that is filled with vinegar, pickle juice, water (and something else non-alcoholic that i cannot remember). We give it to them every friday and they think it is alcohol."
A little while later someone motioned for my professor to come and look at the boys. They were giggling and laughing and falling all over themselves.
It is funny how a mind thing can really do numbers on a person.
So, again, have you ever given or taken a placebo?
As far as I know, I have not.