Some people might be more prone to placebo and nocebo responses than others depending on their personality traits..
After screening 407 references, we identified 24 studies. The Big Five (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness) and optimism were the most frequently investigated personality traits. Several studies found a positive association between optimism and the placebo response. Furthermore, we found that higher anxiety was associated with increased nocebo responses.
Evidence points to a possible association between optimism and the placebo response. Therefore, further emphasising the investigation of the influence of optimism on the placebo/nocebo response seems warranted. For clinical practice, the impact of anxiety on the nocebo response might be important to identify patients who might be more prone to experiencing side effects of medical treatments.