Is the “confidence” accreditation delivers just relief of the nocebo effect?


The media creates a tumultuous ocean of poorly-interpreted information to keep you worrying and buying products.  Sometimes the expectation may be of health.  Or Harm.  Or sometimes just sex.

In contrast, the quality cartel offers…”confidence.”  Remember, it can’t quantitate confidence.  Where the ploy works, is it merely by relief of the nocebo effect?

“Recent experimental evidence indicates that negative verbal suggestions induce anticipatory anxiety about the impending pain increase…” Thereby monetising “confidence.”

1.    micktransit said, April 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm 

Although the placebo response is better known, the nocebo response is actually easier to understand.

I suspect that in the modern world, with information overload and constant health scares, we’re all suffering a constant background nocebo effect. What appears to be a placebo effect may be in fact just the constant nocebo effect being temporarily relieved. This sounds unnecessarily complicated, I know, but it does make more sense to me.

Furthermore, whatever real harm may be done by radioactivity, mobile phones, passive smoking, etc; must inevitably be compounded by publicity fuelling our expectations of harm. Okay, you can laugh that off if you want, but it makes sense. There’s an ethical dilemma there. A serious one. This is not trivial.

Or does this dignify accreditation too much?

Because we have seen in earlier postings that accredited labs falsify results, EQA results may be all over the place,  one accredited lab may get results that are all negative while another gets results entirely positive.  The methods might be different, but they’re both validated and accredited, both delivering “confidence.”  And one of them is consistently wrong.

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