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Pavlov J Biol Sci. 1981 Jul-Sep;16(3):140-3.

Nocebo: the psychologic induction of pain.

Abstract

More than two-thirds of an unselected sample of 34 college students reported mild headaches when told that a (nonexistent) electric current was passing through their heads. These reports appeared independent of whether the instructions emphasized the headache-producing effect of the current or whether the emphasis was on a perceptual task, with headache as only a possible side effect. The results are consistent with a view of pain as localized stress. They provide additional grounds for the suspicion that clinical focusing on pain may itself be a cause of pain.

PMID:
7290754
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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