The Magic of Natural

March 5, 2011 BY danariely

Our recent studies of medications labeled “natural” have yielded some interesting findings. First, most people prefer medications that are natural to medications that aren’t natural. Secondly, and perhaps most surprisingly, people do not see natural medications as being more effective than non-natural medications at attacking the disease at hand. So why do they prefer natural? It turns out that many people believe that natural medications have fewer unintended consequences in both short time and long term side effects. This stems from popular belief, sometimes called “caveman theory,” that our bodies are attuned for diets that were common thousands of years ago and thus might not react well to newer, synthetic products. Hopefully new, exciting research will shed light on the consequences, both positive and negative, of these beliefs.