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placebo gene? - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Don't forget we all chose what we spend out money for and if they chose not to do any research or question what has been recommended to them, then let them go ahead and spend their money of faster sounding cables or whatever it is. I usually tend to either read a lot of reviews, get a lof of background information, test before I buy or buy and try for myself and sell again (or return) if I am not happy with the equipment.
But there is one thing I am never trying to do, argue with a true believer. I let him live in his world where a silver-cable-recabled-DT770 sound as bright as an SA5000. Nor do I question how good a 1.5 meter power cable can be or how much it can improve the sound, having in mind that the power comes from a power plant 3592952984 miles away, being routed through 15 transformators and end up in a ****ty old walloutlet in your living room.
I belive those cables look nice and I like how they look together with my beautiful sounding DAC and Stax setup, but nope I do not hear a difference. I know there is more then just cables, but I don't want to get started with the true voodoo stuff here...

What I am trying to say is, if somebody wants to know the "truth" (s)he will find out and make the right decisions. There is enough to read about all those audiophile tweaks, from both sides. But also keep in mind, even if it is all placebo, a placebo can still please the one using it and make him feel much better

Have fun and don't forget, we are here to enjoy music
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by smuh View Post
Don't forget we all chose what we spend out money for and if they chose not to do any research or question what has been recommended to them, then let them go ahead and spend their money of faster sounding cables or whatever it is. I usually tend to either read a lot of reviews, get a lof of background information, test before I buy or buy and try for myself and sell again (or return) if I am not happy with the equipment.
But there is one thing I am never trying to do, argue with a true believer. I let him live in his world where a silver-cable-recabled-DT770 sound as bright as an SA5000. Nor do I question how good a 1.5 meter power cable can be or how much it can improve the sound, having in mind that the power comes from a power plant 3592952984 miles away, being routed through 15 transformators and end up in a ****ty old walloutlet in your living room.
I belive those cables look nice and I like how they look together with my beautiful sounding DAC and Stax setup, but nope I do not hear a difference. I know there is more then just cables, but I don't want to get started with the true voodoo stuff here...

What I am trying to say is, if somebody wants to know the "truth" (s)he will find out and make the right decisions. There is enough to read about all those audiophile tweaks, from both sides. But also keep in mind, even if it is all placebo, a placebo can still please the one using it and make him feel much better

Have fun and don't forget, we are here to enjoy music
Well said. Apparently we are in complete agreement.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Nice posts guys......

Good finds!

The interesting thing about placebo effect is that no one denies that it exists any longer.

But unfortunately, it seems like it's going to be a long time before the snake oilers run out subjects.

I don't know why that should be?

The subjects have access to the same tests we do. They have access to the same freely available scientific information that we do. Even statements from people at the top of their field, like KG have no impact on them. The 'placebo afflicted' invariably cling steadfastly to their unverifiable beliefs like the members of a cult.

When the man who designs many of the amps we're listening to says something, you would think it should carry some weight. But noooo...... what does he know argues an oiler with something to sell?

On the other hand, when a snake oiler shills about some unverifiable, unreproducible expensive piece of something they want to sell you, wow, look out.......... the devoutly infected are on it with wallets in hand.....

And there's absolutely nothing we can say that will shake their beliefs, because, once you are afflicted with a particular strain of the 'Snake Oil Disease', you resist any and all treatment regarding that strain.....

In fact, the whole point of the Sound Science forum is to confine the truth to one tiny controllable area. Any time, one of our little truths pops up in one of the other forums, bamm, it's corralled and dumped back here, (like the magazine thread). Wouldn't want the noobs, with their full wallets, finding out about this stuff.

Hey, does anyone agree with any of this?

USG
I pretty much agree with the gist of what you're saying here, but with some caveats.

It's been shown that the placebo effect, once it takes effect, doesn't diminish when the subject is told that it's just a placebo. Also, a lot of people don't know the limitations of aural memory, or the fact that their expectation of the sound will cause a real neurological change in the areas of the brain that interpret sound. It's not just an opinion to them - they're actually responding to changes in stimuli, albeit changes which are generated by their own brain.

To that extent I can't really blame them because we all must trust our senses. So it's reasonable for someone to then go and buy something you or I would consider a nonsense product, because simply believing that the product will sound great will actually make it so, to the believer. In that sense, the money is not wasted.

In another sense, it is wasted money but more importantly it's also a poor investment for this hobby overall because another product that may actually be better is not getting that money or the appreciation it deserves.

Sadly, most people don't seem to want to know about any of this stuff, or educate themselves on the topic.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
I pretty much agree with the gist of what you're saying here, but with some caveats.

It's been shown that the placebo effect, once it takes effect, doesn't diminish when the subject is told that it's just a placebo. Also, a lot of people don't know the limitations of aural memory, or the fact that their expectation of the sound will cause a real neurological change in the areas of the brain that interpret sound. It's not just an opinion to them - they're actually responding to changes in stimuli, albeit changes which are generated by their own brain.
To that extent I can't really blame them because we all must trust our senses. So it's reasonable for someone to then go and buy something you or I would consider a nonsense product, because simply believing that the product will sound great will actually make it so, to the believer. In that sense, the money is not wasted.

In another sense, it is wasted money but more importantly it's also a poor investment for this hobby overall because another product that may actually be better is not getting that money or the appreciation it deserves.

Sadly, most people don't seem to want to know about any of this stuff, or educate themselves on the topic.
Agree....

Agree....

Agree....

So, apparently, only the noobs can be helped and it appears that inoculation has to occur prior to infection.

Humm..... That is a very big Job! It would take all of us.

So, in the spirit of Christmas and helping our fellowmen, we form an organization yet to be named and embark on:

"OPERATION: SAVE THE NOOBS"

We have only two rules:

1- We don't talk about it

2- We don't talk about it

Good Luck Men.


USG
post #20 of 32
Sergeant Robert Paulson reporting in SIR.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
Sergeant Robert Paulson reporting in SIR.
Welcome to the Club.......

We need a name..................

Can't save the noobs without a name.......

USG
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
Holy crap, you left neuroscience for accounting? What possessed you to do that?
recognizing one's own shortcomings is the first step to success in life... ok, truth is i failed out, and realized science wasnt for me :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by smuh View Post
What I am trying to say is, if somebody wants to know the "truth" (s)he will find out and make the right decisions. There is enough to read about all those audiophile tweaks, from both sides. But also keep in mind, even if it is all placebo, a placebo can still please the one using it and make him feel much better
Though there is much wisdom in this message, I still find myself clenching a fist behind my back whenever someone mentions how much a shakti stone improves their sound
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
It's been shown that the placebo effect, once it takes effect, doesn't diminish when the subject is told that it's just a placebo. Also, a lot of people don't know the limitations of aural memory, or the fact that their expectation of the sound will cause a real neurological change in the areas of the brain that interpret sound. It's not just an opinion to them - they're actually responding to changes in stimuli, albeit changes which are generated by their own brain.
Don't take the following as insult, but what makes you qualified to say this? Can you site your sources of where you heard/read it?

This is good information- but only useful if credible.
post #24 of 32
i don't think i have this gene.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post
yeah, popular science magazines tend to exercise a little privilege when it comes to sensational claims
40 years later and I STILL don't have a personal helicopter in my garage or a cruise control on the car that does all the driving.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnothingpoetic View Post
Don't take the following as insult, but what makes you qualified to say this? Can you site your sources of where you heard/read it?

This is good information- but only useful if credible.
I think life experiences bear most of that out. Did you ever try to talk to a believer?

USG
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
What do you mean by "shown to be a placebo" ? It would be somewhat difficult to show that something is "really" a placebo, since the mechanism of action of placebo generally isn't well understood.
It is actually very easy to show a placebo. The placebo effect relies on a person assuming that there SHOULD BE a difference. If you remove that suggestion and administer the regular treatment, you can show whether or not there is statistical difference between the controls and your variable of interest. Add back in the suggestion that the placebo control may be a real experimental treatment, and you have a valid placebo treatment.

In your typical double blind pharmaceutical test (where the term "placebo" was initiated), there are at least two treatments: placebo (say, a sugar pill) and the drug being tested. This is a true placebo because it has been established over many years and many subjects that a small sugar pill has no therapeutic value. If the test subject believes they are getting a real treatment, the placebo effect can be significant. Compare this to a situation where a caffeine pill is delivered as a placebo. A caffeine pill would be a suspicious placebo, because it has not been established that caffeine is an inert control--for example, caffeine is actually a cardiovascular stimulant, and a headache treatment. While caffeine might be a fine control (though still inferior to sugar pill) for something like cancer drug trials, it would be an exceptionally poor placebo in a double-blind study on ginseng (another stimulant), or sleeping pills (depressants).

On another note, many previous posters seem to take pride in their ability to discriminate stuff. I say ignorance is bliss. If the placebo works, good for you! It is cheaper to buy sugar pills than expensive drugs. Cheaper to buy a cable than a whole new signal chain. I've never heard of anyone getting side effects from a placebo, or even having a negative effect, for that matter...
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
It is actually very easy to show a placebo. The placebo effect relies on a person assuming that there SHOULD BE a difference. If you remove that suggestion and administer the regular treatment, you can show whether or not there is statistical difference between the controls and your variable of interest. Add back in the suggestion that the placebo control may be a real experimental treatment, and you have a valid placebo treatment.

In your typical double blind pharmaceutical test (where the term "placebo" was initiated), there are at least two treatments: placebo (say, a sugar pill) and the drug being tested. This is a true placebo because it has been established over many years and many subjects that a small sugar pill has no therapeutic value. If the test subject believes they are getting a real treatment, the placebo effect can be significant. Compare this to a situation where a caffeine pill is delivered as a placebo. A caffeine pill would be a suspicious placebo, because it has not been established that caffeine is an inert control--for example, caffeine is actually a cardiovascular stimulant, and a headache treatment. While caffeine might be a fine control (though still inferior to sugar pill) for something like cancer drug trials, it would be an exceptionally poor placebo in a double-blind study on ginseng (another stimulant), or sleeping pills (depressants).

On another note, many previous posters seem to take pride in their ability to discriminate stuff. I say ignorance is bliss. If the placebo works, good for you! It is cheaper to buy sugar pills than expensive drugs. Cheaper to buy a cable than a whole new signal chain. I've never heard of anyone getting side effects from a placebo, or even having a negative effect, for that matter...
I see what you mean now. Definitely agree with you. Without doing what you suggested, the experiment doesn't carry much weight.
post #29 of 32
Great thread and many good points. Glad to see some sanity and truth here!
post #30 of 32
Omega, thanks for the very well written and detailed explanation of placebo and the placebo effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
...snip...
If the placebo works, good for you! It is cheaper to buy sugar pills than expensive drugs. Cheaper to buy a cable than a whole new signal chain. I've never heard of anyone getting side effects from a placebo, or even having a negative effect, for that matter...
At least from my understanding your above statements are more or less the exact opposite as most of us think about it. If we take this back into the head-fi world then we got, lets say a normal/good intereconnect and the holy-grail-audiophile interconnect. The normal/good interconnect gives you everything there is, no quality loss, no degraded signal, the full quality and of course sound. Then there is that holy-grail interconnect and nobody can technically proof there is any improvement in SQ, but they can insure you that this interconnect is "the best I have ever heard". Is it placebo? Could be, I say could be, because after your writing about the placebo effect I feel that word is more or less wrong.
But if the word is right or wrong, one thing is for certain, those placebo pills in our head-fi world are surely not in the same price range as our placebo sugar pills
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