Basics of Research Process

Control Group in Research: The Best Guideline & Examples

Control group
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A control group in a scientific experiment are the individuals that do not receive the treatment or intervention being tested. This group serves as a baseline or standard against which the effects of the treatment are measured.

For instance, if you're testing a new medication, the control group would receive a placebo (a substance with no therapeutic effect), while the experimental group gets the actual medication. By comparing the two groups, researchers can see if the medication has any real effect beyond placebo.

Today, we’ll cover everything from the purpose of such a group to its examples. We’ll also talk about cause-and-effect relationships everyone seems to love so much. Have we missed anything? No worries. Our dissertation writing service got everything you need about control so keep reading to know more!

What Is a Control Group: Definition

Control group definition is our first stop on our way towards ideal academic research. First and foremost, you need to remember that we need this group to study the effects of independent variables. It means that we have two almost identical teams. Their only difference is that one of them is influenced by your variable, while the other is not.

Thus, our team we are controlling is constant. No changes. Zero influence. It is your best way to make sure that your experiment is unbiased. How else can you tell that changes were made only by your variable?

What Is the Purpose of a Control Group

The primary purpose of a control group is to focus on one variable instead of several issues. With a mighty help of such a system, we can:

  • Study all possible differences between participants.
  • Track progression of time.
  • Study randomly created assignments and eliminate possible inconsistencies and their risks.
  • Prove that changes were caused by your new treatment (your independent variable) and not some unknown or random coincidence.

As you can see, this method has numerous advantages. So use it freely and achieve perfect results that cannot be disputed!

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Why Is a Control Group Important

Control group meaning is one of your central parts of any experiment or research. So its importance cannot be underestimated! Why does it matter? Here’s our answer:

It ensures internal validity in research. Otherwise, you cannot tell whether your changes were caused by your treatment or possibly something else.

You can track your chosen effects over time. We can use a good example of scratches. They’ll heal after some time in any case. So if you have one team… bad news, your treatment might not be some saving grace. But if you compare two teams, one of them might have much better results.

What Is the Control Group in an Experiment

The control group in an experiment cannot be replaced by anything else. Don’t believe us? Check out our little list below:

  • Researchers ensure that both their teams are identical. Each of them is also called an experimental group.
  • The only difference is your independent variable that influences one of the groups.
  • The other participants are constant and unchanged.
  • Treatment in research is given to the participant we metaphorically do not “control.”
  • By studying changes in both teams and overtime, we’ll see whether our treatment actually worked.

But we still have some important bits that you can find below!

The Control Group: Using it in Non-Experimental Research

The control groups are not only used for experimental research. They’re much more than that! For example, you can use them in a quasi experimental research design. 

This method is known for being not as random as your so-called true experiments. But it doesn’t shy away from the same type of team assignment as we discussed. Our main difference — its groups usually already exist.

For instance, you want to study all possible effects of a new English class. You can pick an already existing class to be a treatment group that receives your changes. A matching class from this or another school that didn’t have changes in schedule will function as your team that we’ve been discussing.

Thus, our new favorite method of experiment works even here!

Control Group Example

Just like we always do, our college paper writers got an excellent example of a control group prepared for you. It will include a hypothetical situation or “when can you actually apply what we have just learned.”

So here it goes:

You want to study whether 30 minutes of stretching can improve the result of your swimmers. To achieve better results, you randomly divide them into two teams of participants: control and treatment. Treatment one will exercise for 30 minutes before their practice. Your second team will start swimming from the start. By documenting the results of both teams, you will be able to test your hypothesis.

After watching over your participants for a period of time, you can conclude whether their exercise has any influence on their results.

Main Takeaways About Control Group

The control group is at our command now with everything we know about it! But just a quick brief to make sure we remember everything:

  • We divide participants into treatment and control teams.
  • Team one is influenced by changes, and the second team is not.
  • By comparing all possible effects of your independent variable and the lack of it, we can document possible changes.
  • Remember that both teams of participants have everything in common, apart from your independent variable.

But in case you want to ease this process, even more, writing service is always here. It was created by students. So we know that you need high-quality papers as fast as possible. See you there and save this guide for future references!

Frequently Asked Questions About Control Group

1. Do experiments always need a control group?

A control group is your central part of any experiment. So, our answer is "yes." Here our question isn't whether researchers need such methods but how many teams they actually require. Normally, we include one control assigned party of participants. That is your least possible number of groups available. The more, the better! You'll get much more valid results if you track several teams at the same time. But one is a must.

2. How do you identify the control groups?

Control groups are very easy to identify, with us, of course. Here you have to watch out for independent variables. Treatment teams will be influenced by independent variables, while control will remain the same. Thus, our favorite groups stay constant and without changes.

3. What is an experiment without a control group called?

A control group is a stable of many experiments. But there are some like quasi-experiment that can avoid control participants. They do not use random assignments. So it is up to the researcher to choose whether they want to divide their experiment into teams. However, many still prefer their study to be a traditional one with such teams.

4. What makes a positive control group?

A positive control group is the one where participants laugh all the time. Fine, not that. In reality, it’s close to the truth. A positive team is the one where we expect equally positive results. When we see that our treatment works as we compare our results, we say that our experiment is positive. After that, we can have some coffee and finally relax before yet another study.

Article posted on:Nov 18, 2022
Article updated on:May 12, 2023


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