Two Wrongs Sometimes Make a Right: the Role of Task Difficulty in Nocebo and Placebo Treatments

Eric Hamerman, Tulane University, USA
Tor Wager, University of Colorado, USA
Gita V. Johar, Columbia University, USA
Expectations are good predictors of performance. If you believe you’ll excel, you probably will! However, two experiments find the opposite conclusion. After participants ingest an energy drink purported to diminish performance, and then undertake a difficult task, expectations are lowered but performance is improved due to a compensatory response.
[ to cite ]:
Eric Hamerman, Tor Wager, and Gita V. Johar (2011) ,"Two Wrongs Sometimes Make a Right: the Role of Task Difficulty in Nocebo and Placebo Treatments", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38, eds. Darren W. Dahl, Gita V. Johar, and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.