Time course of the placebo analgesic effect acquired with various reinforcement schedules
B. Psych (Hons I), 2013
School of Psychology, University of Sydney
My honours project investigated the acquisition and extinction of placebo analgesia established via different reinforcement schedules. Under the guise of an analgesic trial, undergraduate students were allocated into three groups: continuous reinforcement (CRF), partial reinforcement (PRF), and control. It was found that both CRF and PRF produced placebo analgesia, with the effect smaller in magnitude in the PRF group. Moreover, placebo analgesia established via PRF was more resistant to extinction than that established via CRF. These findings suggest that intermittent delivery of placebos may help enhance clinical outcomes.
After honours, I worked as a research assistant in Hong Kong. I am currently working in Sydney as an ABA therapist for kids with autism. I will start my Master of Clinical Psychology in 2015.
Au Yeung, Y. S., Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P. F., Colloca, L. (2014). Partial reinforcement, extinction, and placebo analgesia. Pain, 155: 1110-1117. ↓pdf
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