Alia Crum
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, United States of America.

Beyond placebos: Harnessing mindset in 21st century healthcare

Mindsets are lenses or frames of mind that orient an individual to a particular set of associations and expectations. Our research aims to move beyond the limited notion of the placebo effect as a mysterious response to an inert substance and toward a recognition that ultimately our mindsets (conscious or embodied) are responsible for these physiological responses. This talk will explore the role of mindsets in three stages of chronic disease progression: genetic predisposition, behavioral prevention, and clinical treatment. I will discuss the mechanisms through which mindsets influence health as well as the myriad ways that mindsets can be more effectively leveraged to improve 21st century healthcare.



Dr. Alia Crum is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.  She received her PhD from Yale University and BA degree from Harvard University.  Dr. Crum’s research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms.  Her work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a robust demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body.  She is interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes outside the realm of medicine, in domains such as exercise, diet and stress.  More specifically, Dr. Crum aims to understand how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect physiological and psychological well-beings.  To date, her research has won several awards, most recently, the NIH New Innovator Award.  In addition to her academic research and teaching, Dr. Crum has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA healthcare system and an organizational trainer and consultant, creating, delivering, and evaluating workshops on mindset change and stress management for organizations including UBS, Colgate Palmolive and the United States Navy.