Double Blind Study

In the scientific method, each experiment should have two groups:

The goal is that the variable being tested is the only difference between the two groups, so effects on the experimental group when compared to the control group can be attributed solely to the introduction of the variable.

A problem is bias for both a member of one of the groups, and for a researchers running the experiment:

In a “blind” or a “single blind” study, no member knows which group they’re in. If I’m a member of one of the two groups, then I have no idea if I got the variable or not, so I don’t change my behavior in any way.

The next step is a “double blind” study, where the members of the groups don’t know which one they’re in, and neither do the researchers. So, during the study, when evaluating any member, the researcher has no idea if this particular member was in the experimental or control groups, and therefore cannot be biased in their evaluation.

Presumably, the membership of the members is only revealed (to either side) when the study is complete.

Why I Looked It Up

I can’t remember, exactly. It came up in a book about science. I knew it had something to do with the value of research, but wasn’t sure why.

This is item #141 in a sequence of 496 items.

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