The “therapeutic misconception” describes a process whereby research volunteers misinterpret the intentions of researchers and the nature of clinical research. This misinterpretation leads research volunteers to falsely attribute a therapeutic potential to clinical research, and compromises informed decision making, therefore compromising the ethical integrity of a clinical experiment. We review recent evidence from the neurobiology of social cognition to provide a novel framework for thinking about the therapeutic misconception. We argue that the neurobiology of social cognition should be considered in any ethical analysis of how people make decisions about participating in clinical trials. The neurobiology of social cognition also suggests how the complicated dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship may unavoidably interfere with the process of obtaining informed consent. Following this argument we suggest new ways to prevent or at least mitigate the therapeutic misconception.
- therapeutic misconception
- social cognition
- clinical trial
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests: None.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Atrophy in distinct corticolimbic networks in frontotemporal dementia relates to social impairments measured using the Social Impairment Rating Scale
- Acute tryptophan depletion alters the effective connectivity of emotional arousal circuitry during visceral stimuli in healthy women
- Adolescent anxiety disorders and the developing brain: comparing neuroimaging findings in adolescents and adults
- The translational neural circuitry of anxiety
- The neuropsychological impact of insular cortex lesions
- Heart–brain interactions in cardiac arrhythmia
- Social cognition in neurodegenerative disorders: a systematic review
- Emotional memory and perception in temporal lobectomy patients with amygdala damage
- Cognitive and metabolic correlates of emotional vulnerability in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy
- Are patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at risk of a therapeutic misconception?