Placebo effects are weak: regression to the mean is the main reason ineffective treatments appear to work by David Colquhoun This blog sets out some of the reasons that we should be suspicious of people telling us the placebo effect demonstrates "the power of the mind over the body". It argues that most of the placebo effect is artefactual. That is, there's no real underlying change to the illness being treated, it just looks as though there is. The blog focuses particularly on what they call the "get-better-anyway effect", which can make it look as though people have improved from a placebo treatment, when really the placebo had nothing to do with it. The "get-better-anyway effect is defined like this: The get-better-anyway effect doesn't mean the person's cured or even recovered. It just means that most illnesses have fluctuating symptoms and that people are most likely to seek treatment when their symptoms are at their worst. Chances are, they'll soon be heading back into a better period, if thy just wait long enough. In the comments section (also by David Colquhoun) Okay, so he only mentions big pharma and what he calls "quacks". But psychotherapy and other behaviorual therapies are also benefiting massively from this effect.