Hypnosis has been proven effective as way to treat various illnesses. So have placebos. My question is, is Hypnosis more effective than a placebo?
In particular has there any experiments comparing the effects of real hypnosis v.s. fake hypnosis?
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This paper does a handy job of describing the situation. Specifically, it describes how "more effective" may not be the correct way of looking at the comparison between hypnosis and placebo. Specifically, these methods may function differently, depending on the activity of the individual's prefrontal cortex:
"In conclusion, whilst there are potentially informative similarities between hypnotic suggestion and placebos, their differences, particularly with regard to the differential contributions of regions of the prefrontal cortex, are also potentially informative as to the nature of suggestion more generally." (Parris, 2016).
I'd copy the whole 5th and 6th paragraph of this article if I could: I recommend giving it a glance!
Long story short: recent research seems to suggest that patients may be more or less susceptible to these different treatments depending on the level of activity in the PFC.
Parris, B. A. (2016). The Prefrontal Cortex and Suggestion: Hypnosis vs. Placebo Effects. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 415. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00415