A word used when patients say they feel better when they have been lied to. Not necessarily lied to, but told they have been given a drug or undergone an operation which would supposedly make them healed, which was not actually done.

  • I read this question quite differently. I thought it was asking for a word to describe people who -prefer- to be lied to than told the truth. But really you meant those who show improvement even after a treatment which has no actual clinical significance (doesn't actually do anything).
    – Mitch
    Sep 24, 2011 at 22:21

2 Answers 2


I believe you are referring to the placebo effect. A placebo given as medicine is a pill that has no medical effect (it's made of sugar, has no taste, no nutritional value -- it just 'feels' like you're taking a pill.)

It has been scientifically proven that placebos help people recover from illness. This is a counter intuitive result because placebos should have no medical effect. However, they do.


I think you are referring to the placebo effect.


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