SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article Link 3.1: Green, B. L., Li, L., Morris, J. F., Gluzman, R., Davis, J. L., Wang, M. Q., & Katz, R. V. (2011). Detailed knowledge of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Who knows what? A framework for health promotion strategiesHealth Education & Behavior38(6), 629–636.

Abstract: This report explores the level of detailed knowledge about the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (TSS) among 848 Blacks and Whites in three U.S. cities across an array of demographic variables. The Tuskegee Legacy Project (TLP) Questionnaire was used, which was designed to explore the willingness of minorities to participate in biomedical studies. A component of the TLP Questionnaire, the TSS Facts & Myths Quiz, consisting of seven yes/no factual questions, was used to establish respondents’ level of detailed knowledge on the TSS. Both Blacks and Whites had similar very low mean quiz score on the 7-point scale, with Blacks’ scores being slightly higher than Whites (1.2 vs. 0.9, p = .003). When analyzing the level of knowledge between racial groups by various demographic variables, several patterns emerged: (a) higher education levels were associated with higher levels of detailed knowledge and (b) for both Blacks and Whites, 30 to 59 years old knew the most about TSS compared with younger and older adult age groups. The findings show that much of the information that circulates in the Black and White communities about the TSS is false, often minimizing or understating the most egregious injustices that occurred. Health promotion and educational implications of these findings are offered and conclude that the findings should be used as a catalyst to explore local realities and sentiments regarding participation in biomedical research within the research philosophy and framework of community-based participatory research.

  1. Summarize the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
  2. Describe each of the ways that this study was unethical.
  3. What are the implications of this study for research?
  4. What can we as a society learn from this study?

Journal Article Link 3.2: Justman, S. (2010). From medicine to psychotherapy: The placebo effect. History of the Human Sciences24(1), 95–107.

Abstract: If placebos have been squeezed out of medicine to the point where their official place is in clinical trials designed to identify their own confounding effect, the placebo effect nevertheless thrives in psychotherapy. Not only does psychotherapy dispose of placebo effects that are less available to medicine as it becomes increasingly technological and preoccupied with body parts, but factors of the sort inhibiting the use of placebos in medicine have no equivalent in psychology. Medicine today is disturbed by the placebo effect in a way psychotherapy is not. Psychotherapy does not have to grapple with such a disconcerting paradox as successful sham surgery, and unlike those physicians who once pretended to treat the patient’s body while actually attempting to treat the mind, the psychotherapist can treat the mind in all frankness. Perhaps it is because psychotherapy is less burdened by doubts about the placebo effect that it was able to come to its aid when it was orphaned by medicine. It is vain to expect something with so long a history as the placebo effect to disappear from the practices of healing.

  1. What is the placebo effect?
  2. How is it used in psychotherapy?
  3. In what ways is the placebo effect ethical?
  4. In what ways is the placebo effect unethical?