Ask any educated person what the placebo effect is, and almost all of them will be able to tell you. They will also accept, without any arm-twisting, that the placebo effect is real. After all, there is no real controversy around placebos — it’s well established that they work. And yet, any time I’ve suggested to an educated person that the placebo effect may be working on them — that they might as well be taking sugar pills for their colds instead of vitamin C — I get strenuous denials in response.
Many of us are ready to accept that placebos can work in general, just not on us. A similar dynamic exists with implicit biases.