Thursday, March 12, 2015

Group 29 Smith, Burns, Wikstrom

Our group is studying the placebo effect. This is basically false treatment. It is the idea that if you are told something will give you a desired response, in most cases it makes you healthier (medicine); you will fake that it does help, even if it doesn't. We are going to use this idea and make an experiment to show people will believe something if you simply tell them. We plan to deceive our subjects by giving them tea that will make everything sweet, bitter. We have regular green tea and Gymnema Sylvestre Tea. Gymnema Tea is known as a sugar destroyer. Both will be described as the Gymnema Tea and we will give certain people the actual sugar destroyer and certain the green tea. After they will receive a piece of chocolate to eat. We plan to convince all participants that the sweet taste will diminish and have a chalky/ bitter taste. Those with the green will most likely experience the placebo effect and agree that their tea made the chocolate bitter.

Today our group is looking into studies on the effect we are experimenting. Surprisingly, it is hard to find studies on Gymnema Sylvestre tea and the Placebo effect. However while reading we found it interesting that the placebo effect is often used with medicine. There have been instances where doctors have prescribed inert medicine, or fake medicine and it has been found out that people still agree that the medicine made them feel better in result. This has also happened in surgery. Surgeons have performed fake surgeries with the same results. We also learned that Placebo is latin for "I will Please".

The group has made out the works for our booth. We have decided on a very punny name to serve as a title for the booth. Since we are testing with tea we decided on That's MighTEA bitter. At least its along the lines of that. Ally Brought in our tri fold poster board so things are moving along smoothly. Despite the many worksheets this is a fun learning process. We have learned that this tea actually helps people with diabetes. pretty cool. Anyways, enjoy this picture of us hard at work.
We have been hard at work today finishing up handouts 18-20. Now that we are finally finished we can move on to constructing our poster boards. Our group, though very angry at times have had a good time today. No fights which means were all good. I (Nicole) bought the Gymnema Tea from Mr.Vuillaume. He has given me instruction on how to prepare the tea properly. I hope I make it right otherwise we will be in trouble. Fun facts on our tea today: It is used for weight loss, It tastes disgusting, It is an Indian herb used in medicine long ago. Fun fact on placebo effect: It is a very cautious thing with testing medicine for doctors because of the placebo. People might only think the medicine cured their symptoms because the doctor said it would. That is why testing medicine can be so difficult. Fun RANDOM Fact of the day: It is not illegal to be topless in New York. 
Time is running out until psych fair and today we get a little bit of weight off our chest with designing our booth. We are currently mapping out the layout of our poster board. Mr. V is going around the room and having everyone walk through their experiment to them. Ally is absent so Chloe and I have creative dictatorship over the poster board, which honestly we both enjoy. We plan on having a very vibrant poster board and will set up the booth with rows of tea on display along with the hershey kisses. I think that even more than experimenting the placebo effect the green tea will have we are excited to witness people 1) be disgusted and in awe of the gymnema tea and 2) lie with the green tea. Chloe has read over handouts 21 and 22  in order for us to know the guidelines for the booth. My throat hurts and I want tea, but not the Gymnema Tea, maybe Black Tea with honey and sugar...mmm. ANYWAYS Today gets us one step closer to Psych fair 2015! Pictures of poster board coming soon! 

Psych Fair starts thursday and our poster board is in the works! Amazing how time flies. We are confident In our projects success and hope for it to work as well as anticipated. Chloe and I are currently adding borders and words to the poster board while ally cuts out our visuals! AHH so close to Thursday, Finished pics of the board coming soon. Still in the works, don't want to show the crap stage it is in. 

Today we have been instructed to finish our boards and work away. We are very close to the finished poster product. I have bought all the tea and plan on starting the brewing tonight. I'm afraid the tea will stink up my house but it's all for psychology! My partners and I have loved this experience but are nervous to execute the experiment tomorrow on our families. Fingers crossed!!!

Today is the day! well the practice day! Our parents come tonight to see how all the fairs tables and all the crazy psychological projects we've all done. I'm excited to see everyone else's experiments, as well as see how well ours works. I made some tea last night and it did in fact make the house smell like a forest. Chloe had to buy more tea because we did not have enough for Thursday night which means more tea making for me tonight. Can't wait to show all the parents our placebo and see the amount of them that fall for it . We are praying for the placebo/ psych gods for a helping hand. Wishing everyone luck for the real deal tomorrow. Hope nothing goes wrong! Here is the finished poster below!

PSYCH FAIR TODAY! We are here, and so far things are going great. About half way through our day and sadly we have disproved our hypothesis. Most students can tell that the Green Tea is not working like the Gymnema Tea. However we have a handful that the placebo has worked. It is disheartening but a great learning experience. Our participants have been very nice and helpful throughout the day and overall we have been having a good day. We got the chance to look at other booths during second hour and I (Nicole) am impressed by a lot of people's booths. Chloe and I have been interacting with the crowds but Ally is falling back a bit. She won't engage with others. She has just poured tea for the most part of today. Chloe and I have been in people's faces persuading them to try the tea. We have reached our number of people to test but are continuing since we have enough tea for one more group. Psych fair is coming to a close in about an hour. This has been crazy and fun. I (nicole) have made a few new friends and have experienced a lot of sweating and nerves but had a fantastic time at psych fair. Chloe thinks psych fair was interesting and busy, but she had a lot of fun. Ally, well i think she agrees: she is doodling.  THE FAIR IS OVER!!! Wow what a day. We all had a lot of fun but we are glad it's over. Now time to look at the results! pics posted below!


  1. Love the placebo effect as I 100% agree with it. There is a lot of health research around having the right mindset and how that ends up having an impact. Even stress - if you think stress is a good thing to help you get work done, it has a positive impact on your health! Look forward to seeing your results.