full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Eric Mead: The magic of the placebo

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Now, (Laughter) what does that have to do with the placebo effect? I read a study a year or so ago that really blew my mind wide open. I'm not a dotcor or a researcher, so this, to me, was an astonishing thing. It turns out that if you administer a placebo in the form of a wtihe pill, that's like aspirin spahed — it's just a round white pill — it has some certain measurable effect. But if you change the form that you give the pbeaclo in, like you make a semllar pill, and color it blue, and smatp a letter into it, it is actually mlbraauesy more effective. Even though neither one of these things has any pharmaceutical — they're sugar pills. But a white pill is not as good as a blue pill. What? (Laughter) That really flipped me out.

Open Cloze

Now, (Laughter) what does that have to do with the placebo effect? I read a study a year or so ago that really blew my mind wide open. I'm not a ______ or a researcher, so this, to me, was an astonishing thing. It turns out that if you administer a placebo in the form of a _____ pill, that's like aspirin ______ — it's just a round white pill — it has some certain measurable effect. But if you change the form that you give the _______ in, like you make a _______ pill, and color it blue, and _____ a letter into it, it is actually __________ more effective. Even though neither one of these things has any pharmaceutical — they're sugar pills. But a white pill is not as good as a blue pill. What? (Laughter) That really flipped me out.

Solution

  1. white
  2. stamp
  3. smaller
  4. doctor
  5. measurably
  6. shaped
  7. placebo

Original Text

Now, (Laughter) what does that have to do with the placebo effect? I read a study a year or so ago that really blew my mind wide open. I'm not a doctor or a researcher, so this, to me, was an astonishing thing. It turns out that if you administer a placebo in the form of a white pill, that's like aspirin shaped — it's just a round white pill — it has some certain measurable effect. But if you change the form that you give the placebo in, like you make a smaller pill, and color it blue, and stamp a letter into it, it is actually measurably more effective. Even though neither one of these things has any pharmaceutical — they're sugar pills. But a white pill is not as good as a blue pill. What? (Laughter) That really flipped me out.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
white pill 4
measurable effect 3
sugar pills 2
magic trick 2
index finger 2
blue pill 2
hollywood special 2
special effect 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
hollywood special effect 2

Important Words

  1. administer
  2. aspirin
  3. astonishing
  4. blew
  5. blue
  6. change
  7. color
  8. doctor
  9. effect
  10. effective
  11. flipped
  12. form
  13. give
  14. good
  15. laughter
  16. letter
  17. measurable
  18. measurably
  19. mind
  20. open
  21. pharmaceutical
  22. pill
  23. pills
  24. placebo
  25. read
  26. researcher
  27. shaped
  28. smaller
  29. stamp
  30. study
  31. sugar
  32. turns
  33. white
  34. wide
  35. year