The Placebo Effect [MP02]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Monday to Friday


Reinoud de Jongh, PhD

Course fee

€ 870


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




  • Medical Psychology

Detailed information about this course:


The placebo effect has been studied since the 1950’s, starting with the original 1955 study of Beecher. In this course we will discuss several postulated underlying mechanisms of the placebo effect (e.g. expectancy, conditioning, affect-modulation, and doctor-patient communication). Furthermore we will debate the existence of the placebo effect and discuss the challenges in measuring the effect. Questions that will be addressed are for instance: can you deliver an open label placebo? Is it ethical to prescribe a placebo when a patient doesn’t know he is getting a sugar pill? Does the placebo effect exist outside of pain medication research? You will experience the strength of the placebo effect first hand in an experiment during the course.

The assessment of the course will exist of the presentation of a research proposal for studying the placebo effect.


Gaining knowledge about

  • The underlying mechanisms of the placebo-effect
  • Methodological issues in measuring the placebo effect
  • Ethical issues in the application of placebo’s


Assignment(s), Written exam

Reduction on fees


50% reduction on our fees for participating institutes of NIHES

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the departments or sections participating in NIHES.

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam:

  • Department of Epidemiology
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Psychiatry, Section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology
  • Department of Medical Informatics
  • Department of General Practice
  • Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management
  • Generation R

50% reduction on our fees for NIHES affiliated partners

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the following NIHES affiliated partners:

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam, departments of:

  • Dermatology
  • General Paediatrics
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Rehabilitation Medicine

Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam (iMERR)

Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital

  • Department of Cancer Epidemiology

25% reduction on our fees for partner institutes of NIHES

For participants formally appointed at the following departments, institutes:

  • Departments of Erasmus MC (except the departments mentioned above)
  • Addiction Research Institute (IVO)
  • Integraal Kankercentrum Zuid (IKZ)
  • Pallas Health Research and Consultancy
  • Municipal Health Service Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam)
  • Municipal Health Service Rotterdam (GGD Rotterdam)
  • Havenpolikliniek
  • Admiraal De Ruyter Ziekenhuis

25% reduction for all (international) PhD students
Please upload proof of enrollment as a PhD student in the application form.

25% reduction on our course fees (maximum 3 EC points per academic year) for all NIHES alumni
Please state that you are a NIHES alumnus/alumna and the academic year you graduated (remarks field). Please note that the reduction on fees for alumni does not apply to the Erasmus Summer Programme.