Featuring members of the the Harvard Placebo Study Group, "Placebo: Cracking the Code" examines the power of belief in alleviating pain, curing disease, and the healing of injuries. The placebo effect is a pervasive, albeit misunderstood, phenomenon in medicine. In the UK, over 60% of doctors surveyed said they had prescribed placebos in regular clinical practice. In a recent Times Magazine article, 96% of US physicians surveyed stated that they believe that placebo treatments have real therapeutic effects.
Work on the placebo effect received an intellectual boost when the Harvard Placebo Study Group was founded at the beginning of 2001. This group is made up of 8 members: Anne Harrington (Harvard), Howard Fields (UCSF), Dan Moerman (Univ. of Michigan), Nick Humphrey (London School of Economics), Dan Wegner (Harvard), Jamie Pennebaker Univ. of Texas in Austin), Ginger Hoffman (Harvard) and Fabrizio Benedetti (Univ. of Turin).