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Latest News. Placebo Effect Has Physical Manifestation - Page 5

post #61 of 99
It makes the drug companies look bad when many of the drugs they want us to buy are less efficient than placebo.
post #62 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torr View Post
It is a fact there is no physical audible difference between a well made low end cable and the most expensive high end cables. We can prove this scientifically not just with double blind tests, but by using oscilloscopes and other tools to verify that the signal coming from one cable is indistinguishable to the signal coming from another. Yet, we can also prove that once filtered through the human mind, the powerful placebo effect causes the perception of a very real and oftentimes profound improvement in audio when using high end cables. So, is it morally wrong to produce and sell high end cables? If a person is in great pain and a placebo could make them feel better, would it be wrong to prescribe them a placebo? Would it be wrong if the placebo cost $100? What about $1,000? $100,000? Is it ever wrong?
Many times in history and it will continue to be the case, some things remain undiscovered until late because the looker wasn't looking in the right place or the experimenter was measuring the wrong thing. The grave assumption here is that one can measure all that a human will hear under the influence of a cable change. We shouldn't be too smug and conclusively factual about there being no difference when the tests we run fail to demonstrate a difference.

I've heard three different cable changes. With two I heard no difference and I was skeptic. My third experience has left me comfortable with my personal conviction on the matter. Placebo for you or anyone else.... that's OK. It's OK in so long as those cables remain available.
post #63 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
It makes the drug companies look bad when many of the drugs they want us to buy are less efficient than placebo.
Some work and some don't. We make such claims through the trials we undertake. Some trials demonstrate a benefit, while others may not. Which to believe? The more consistent finding is what we usually base our final judgement on. OTOH, there are some forms of therapy revisited when someone astutely decides to evaluate efficacy in a non-standard way and then the benefit is discovered. They then think differently rather than assume placebo or voodoo.

The mind needs to remain open when there's heavy controversy about a particular issue.
post #64 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post
Many times in history and it will continue to be the case, some things remain undiscovered until late because the looker wasn't looking in the right place or the experimenter was measuring the wrong thing. The grave assumption here is that one can measure all that a human will hear under the influence of a cable change. We shouldn't be too smug and conclusively factual about there being no difference when the tests we run fail to demonstrate a difference.
That is only the assumption with the instrument based tests. Double blind tests account for the possibility that there are things we have failed to measure. Unfortunately, high end cables consistently fail both types of tests.
post #65 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torr View Post
That is only the assumption with the instrument based tests. Double blind tests account for the possibility that there are things we have failed to measure. Unfortunately, high end cables consistently fail both types of tests.
Double blind tests fail with amp types and compression formats as well. I don't hear anyone claiming that amps or compression formats don't make a difference.
post #66 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post
Some work and some don't. We make such claims through the trials we undertake.
Who is we? You in the medical industry? Sure people need an open mind, especially the pharmaceutical industry when they can sell some pills for $200 a pop.
post #67 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Who is we? You in the medical industry? Sure people need an open mind, especially the pharmaceutical industry when they can sell some pills for $200 a pop.
Yes. I'm in the medical industry. It's my back yard, so finally, I do have some direct experience with what you're discussing in terms of evidence, the power of it and how experiments are conducted/interpreted. It's quite interesting and actually expected, the amount of similarity there exists between the two issues.
post #68 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post
Double blind tests fail with amp types and compression formats as well. I don't hear anyone claiming that amps or compression formats don't make a difference.
The Double blind tests I am aware of do not indicate that there is no difference between any two properly constructed amps. What some rather infamous double blind tests have shown is that it is difficult for anyone to pick out which amp is which through double blind testing if they are set up identically to a neutral volume that is good for all of them. This is very different from asking whether they sound different. Most people in the infamous double blind test you are probably referring to could tell there is a difference in the audio, they just couldn't tell which one was the expensive amp and which one was the cheap one.

Compression formats are a different topic entirely. With compression formats we are dealing with efficiency of compression....let's not get that far off topic.
post #69 of 99
aimlink, I think placebo is different in medical research and cable testing. It is generally difficult to remove placebo in medical experiments with human test subjects, even with a huge number of people, for example, let's say you have a pill that makes people fart, how do you figure out if this effect of the pill is highly conducive to placebo or not and how we'll have to interpret the data to compensate?

On the other hand, dbt cable testing is immune to placebo.
post #70 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torr View Post
The Double blind tests I am aware of do not indicate that there is no difference between any two properly constructed amps. What some rather infamous double blind tests have shown is that it is difficult for anyone to pick out which amp is which through double blind testing if they are set up identically to a neutral volume that is good for all of them. This is very different from asking whether they sound different. Most people in the infamous double blind test you are probably referring to could tell there is a difference in the audio, they just couldn't tell which one was the expensive amp and which one was the cheap one.

Compression formats are a different topic entirely. With compression formats we are dealing with efficiency of compression....let's not get that far off topic.
Yes. We have to qualify the tests, their nature etc.

In the same way, cables and can combos are quite different. There's a lot of variation out there. The only way to address this issue would be to run separate blinded tests on a reasonable quantity of persons who are confident that they can each tell the difference between two particular cables used with a particular HP that they each submit for the test. So in the final analysis, you can say that cables don't really seem to make an audible difference since after separate blinded tests on x number of subjects, none could tell the difference between two cables that they each submitted for testing on the premise that they could tell the difference. Has such a trial been carried out?

I'd be quite willing to try this with the SXC Cryo vs stock cable for my K702's. I'd not wish to try it with the Cardas vs stock cable for the HD650's.
post #71 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
aimlink, I think placebo is different in medical research and cable testing. It is generally difficult to remove placebo in medical experiments with human test subjects, even with a huge number of people, for example, let's say you have a pill that makes people fart, how do you figure out if this effect of the pill is highly conducive to placebo or not and how we'll have to interpret the data to compensate?

On the other hand, dbt cable testing is immune to placebo.
Any subjective assessment is prone to placebo effect.

I agree that it's more challenging to remove the placebo effect when studying drug efficacy and we do so by enrolling a large amount of test subjects. The more subjects involved, the greater the power of the study. Studies on pills usually involve thousands of patients.

I agree that for sound tests you will not need as many subjects, but the placebo effect remains, hence the need to do blind testing and repeatedly to negate not only placebo effect, but the effect of lucky guessing.
post #72 of 99
There's no placebo in double blind testing of cables. In a medical experiment you give each test subject one type of pill for a long while. In a cable experiment you give all test subjects the same two cables alternating. Let's say it is a cable test where a test subject is given a remote with three buttons, A for cable 1, B for cable 2, C for randomly picking cable 1 or cable 2 to make an input. The test subject may suffer from placebo for button A or button B, but not button C.
post #73 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
There's no placebo in double blind testing of cables. In a medical experiment you give each test subject one type of pill for a long while. In a cable experiment you give all test subjects the same two cables alternating. Let's say it is a cable test where a test subject is given a remote with three buttons, A for cable 1, B for cable 2, C for randomly picking cable 1 or cable 2 to make an input. The test subject may suffer from placebo for button A or button B, but not button C.
Sure, but we can't say that there's no placebo effect when we claim a difference between two cables. We are negating that placebo effect by testing the two cables in blind fashion.

In the medical experiment you're describing, one is testing if a particular medication has any effect "at all". In this situation, one would need to use a placebo pill in order to blind the subjects.

How about comparing the effect of two different pills. One company claims their pill works better than the other companies. To prove or disprove this, a placebo pill would not be necessary. However, to remove the placebo effect, one would need to blind the subjects concerning which companies pill they are taking. This would be a blinded *and randomised* study comparing the degree of efficacy between two accepted medications. This is commonly done and it's this very same model study that we would be using when comparing the cable types.

Unfortunately in the case of cables, it's not only two different types. There are many variations in cable design and many different HP's. That's a lot of combinations to consider. Doing a few blinded studies on a few cables will not adequately address this variation.
post #74 of 99
You can't remove the placebo effect by hiding the identity of the company pills. Let's say one of the pills has the strange side effect of harmlessly turning people orange (like mega dose of carotene), how can you figure the ultimate effect it will have on people's placebo response and how to interpret the data?

I agree that having more test subjects would be nice for a cable test though, I'm all for brute force experimentation, but only a rich company like Nordost can afford it, and if I was them you know I would rather fudge data than admit I am wrong .
post #75 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
You can't remove the placebo effect by hiding the identity of the company pills. Let's say one of the pills has the strange side effect of harmlessly turning people orange (like mega dose of carotene), how can you figure the ultimate effect it will have on people's placebo response and how to interpret the data?

I agree that having more test subjects would be nice for a cable test though, I'm all for brute force experimentation, but only a rich company like Nordost can afford it, and if I was them you know I would rather fudge data than admit I am wrong .
After testing many subjects who have no idea which of the two pills they're taking, you either see a significant difference in outcomes or not. What's actually happening and whether or not what's happening is placebo or not is another thing. If you're testing enough subjects, and it's all placebo, you shouldn't be seeing a significant difference in outcomes. That's all.
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