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Copy of Student Prezi Board MS51

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Indigo Pavlov

on 9 March 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Student Prezi Board MS51

By Indigo Pavlov
Research Question
How does a placebo affect speed?
Background Information
IDD and Variables
A placebo, often referred to as a sugar pill, is a substance that looks identical to a real treatment, or in the case of the experiment, an energy drink. However, the contents of the placebo will have no affect on what is being tested on the subject. The method of the placebo effect includes telling the subject that the placebo is the real treatment and seeing how their bodies respond. When the subject is convinced that they are receiving a treatment that will make a change, the body reacts accordingly. There are also some possible negative effects. The subject may think they are receiving a strong medicine and could psychologically create side effects that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. These side effects are called nocebos.

Because the mind is in charge of believing a placebo, physical characteristics play a part in effectiveness. For example, a larger placebo pill would usually get better results than a smaller placebo pill. In the same sense, a blue or red pill would be more effective than a white pill because people stick to what they know, and white pills are commonly associated with aspirin and other over the counter pills with little effect. Also, a placebo injection would most likely have more effect than any placebo pill, because most patients would believe the injection would be stronger and more powerful.

Energy drinks are beverages usually containing large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. They advertise to improve the body’s exercise and keep the recipient awake. Based on the above information on placebos and the placebo effect, an energy drink placebo would mostly have the same effect on recipients as a real energy drink.

If the subject is given a placebo energy drink and believes it will increase their speed, then it will because the brain is sending the body a signal that the speed will be increased. Since the placebo effect is based mainly on the subject’s belief, the subject determines how well the placebo will work. Most people think that energy drinks are affective, so a placebo would most likely work as well.

Materials and Procedure
· Stopwatch
· Dyed sugar water with apple juice
· Hallway
· Notebook
· Pencil

1. Set two specific places in the hallway to start and stop.
2. Time test subject 1 sprinting the distance. Record.
3. Repeat step 2 with the remaining test subjects.
4. Time test subject 1 sprinting the same distance in the hallway after drinking ¼ cup of the placebo energy drink. Record.
5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the test subjects.

Data Table
All in all, the placebo energy drink improved the subjects’ overall speed and the hypothesis was supported by the data. Most of the subjects believed that the placebo energy drink would improve their speed and it did, by about .3 seconds for each subject. However, two subjects had nocebos and reported bad headaches, most likely due to disbelief in the placebo.

Reflecting on the experiment, I realized there were some extraneous variables that may have varied the results. One example of this is that the method of recording wasn’t completely precise and the recorder could have stopped the time a bit after or before a subject finished the distance. Another extraneous variable is that some subjects completed the experiment in one period of time and others had days in between. Subjects could have been wearing different shoes that could improve athleticism or have had a different amount of sleep.

If I were to repeat this experiment, I would have chosen to test subjects in only one period of time. I also would have tested more subjects for longer distances and used two placebo energy drinks of different colors. I suggest for future investigations to have the procedure peer reviewed to further limit the extraneous variables.

The Effect of a Placebo on Speed
I chose this topic because I am very interested in the placebo effect and I want to better understand how it works.
Independent Variable: Placebo energy drink
Dependent Variable: Sprinting speed of subjects
· Test subjects
· Distance sprinted
· Stopwatch
· Location
· Recorder
· Dyed sugar water with apple juice
Levels of the independent variable: No placebo energy drink and ¼ cups of placebo energy drink
The data proves an overall faster speed with the placebo. All but five subjects increased in speed, some improving by over half a second.

"Placebo Effect." Placebo Effect. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Columbia News ::: Columbia Researchers Demonstrate How Placebo Effect Works in the Brain." Columbia News ::: Columbia Researchers Demonstrate How Placebo Effect Works in the Brain. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Placebo+effect." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web.

"Energy Drinks." Brown University. N.p., n.d. Web.

"The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect." YouTube. YouTube, Web.

Benedetti, Fabrizio. Placebo Effects: Understanding the Mechanisms in Health and Disease. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.
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