I need an answer for this Discussion for my class due tomorrow.
I read an article once that really demonstrates well the need for a control in an experiment. A control is a group that does not receive the treatment being tested. It is a group that you can compare your experimental group to so that you can properly analyze the results. In the article, the author talks about the flu vaccinne. In the treatment group, those who received the vaccine, 98.8% of the people did not get the flu. Those results alone sound amazing and anyone reading it would think they should certianly go get the vaccine. In the control group, those who did not receive the vaccine, 97.3% of the people did not get the flu. When you compare the two the results are not as impressive. I am not posting this as a plug to get or not get the vaccine (I am sure there are other studies that show different results) but as a demonstration of how important it is to have a control so that you can truly interpret your results. I think it also helps clear up what a control is as opposed to a controlled environment (i.e. having to two groups of people in the same age group, of the same overall health etc.).
For the DQ for the week post your thoughts on the importance of a control or how not keeping a controlled environment can affect the results of an experiment. Also post an article, study etc. you may have found that show the need for a control or other parts of an experiment (Tuesday’s New York Times has a science section that may be helpful). For example, I just saw a commercial that stated people who use match.com have an xx percent higher chance of finding a partner (I don’t remember the exact percent). My question is- what is the control? Are they comparing this to people who use other sites? People who don’t use any dating help at all? People who go out a lot? etc. You can see how the control makes a difference. The commercial insinuates that match is more successful than other dating sites. Please comment on your classmates’ posts using concepts learned from class. This is good preparation for the final applied lab.