The Hidden Requirements: Exploring Emotions with Placebos

The Hidden Requirements: Exploring Emotions with Placebos

A placebo is designed and used primarily for psychological benefit. Things like sugar pills, elevator door close buttons, and office thermostats aim “to please”, rather than have any other, “real” effects. Now, consider a placebo in the context of software and testing. What if “pleasing” is the only intended and expected result? How can it be tested? What does a bug look like? And, do these ideas also apply to non-placebos that have other, “real” effects? In this workshop, we’ll explore placebos, nocebos, the placebo/nocebo response, illusion and locus of control, relativism, wants, needs, and expectations, and will connect it all to testing.