Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Imaging


Michael Bernstein is an experimental psychologist. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences (primary appointment) and Brown Alpert Medical School's Department of Diagnostic Imaging (secondary appointment).  His prior work centered on college-student preventive interventions for alcohol use, including a text-message intervention for 21st birthday drinking. His recent and current work primarily focuses on understanding and harnessing the placebo effect to improve treatment outcomes. Dr. Bernstein's NIDA K-01 award will examine whether the long-established analgesic (pain relieving) properties of placebos can be used to minimze opioid use among acute pain patients. Put differently, he investigates placebos not as an experimental control, but as a potentially effective yet highly unusual form of treatment in itself. His research draws on the surprising finding that placebos are effective even when not given deceptively. Dr. Bernstein is also involved with research in the areas of: Artificial Intelligence in medicine, opioid use, and alcohol misuse.


For an updated publication list, please visit Michael Bernstein's google scholar page here

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas