Q:

What is a control in an experiment?

A:

A control in an experiment typically refers to the control group, which is the group that is not being exposed to the element or factor being tested. The other group is the experiment group. The only difference between the two groups should be the experiment factor.

According to About.com, controlled experiments have several strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths of having a control group is that it allows causation to be established. It also singles out individual determinative factors since all other factors are constant. However, controlled experiments tend to be artificial; that is, they are typically done in a laboratory and do not account for many natural responses. Therefore, controlled experiments need to be evaluated in order to determine the extent to which the artificial setting has influenced the outcome.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a control group in biology ?

    A:

    In biology experiments, a control group is a group of subjects that are not given the treatment being tested in order to serve as a benchmark for the tested group. The presence of a control group helps scientists rule out alternate causes for any observed results.

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  • Q:

    What is a "control" in an experiment?

    A:

    Experimental controls are mechanisms in science that eliminate extraneous factors that might otherwise affect the results of an experiment. By creating a second set that is unaffected by the phenomenon being measured, scientists are able to isolate the phenomenon by contrasting the test group with the control group.

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  • Q:

    What is a positive control in an experiment?

    A:

    Positive control in an experiment is a control group that researchers use to show that an experiment is working as intended by using conditions that guarantee a positive result. Control groups are not required for all experiments and are typically used in experiments with complex conditions.

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  • Q:

    What is the control group in an experiment?

    A:

    The control group in an experiment does not receive a treatment or experimental condition. Researchers compare results from the experimental group with those of the control group to find an effect or statistically significant difference with the treatment.

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