Development and Evaluation of a Placebo for Studies of Operant Behavioral Intervention


The role of credible placebo conditions in operant intervention research is reviewed. Three studies are presented which were designed to help develop such a placebo condition and then to evaluate its credibility. The results of the studies underscore the necessity for evaluating a placebo condition before employing it in the actual intervention study. Data are offered suggesting that a credible placebo for behavioral treatment of hyperactive children can be developed for use in teacher consultation studies. The data also suggest, however, that credibility ratings are influenced by the manner in which the evaluations are undertaken. The nature of the concept of credibility is also briefly discussed.

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Notes/Citation Information

Dr. Milich was at the University of Iowa when the article was originally published.

This article was available online May 30, 2002.

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