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100 medical students were asked to participate in testing two new drugs. One was described to them as a super-stimulant in a red capsule, the other as a super-tranquilizer in a blue capsule.

Unbeknownst to the students, the contents of the capsules had been switched: the red capsule was actually a barbiturate, and the blue capsule was actually an amphetamine.

Yet half of the students developed physical reactions that went along with their expectations—exactly the opposite of the chemical reaction the drugs should have produced in their bodies!

These students were not just given placebos; they were given actual drugs. But their beliefs overrode the chemical impact of the drug on their bodies. As Dr. Beecher later stated, a drug’s usefulness “is a direct result of not only the chemical properties of the drug, but also the patient’s belief in the usefulness and effectiveness of the drug.

My question for you is how are your beliefs impacting your life?

Michael Fox
Frank Donnelly
Paul Henry


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