History Main / NoControlGroup

9th Feb '16 2:30:48 PM Sharlee
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* In the 2012 medical horror film ''The Facility'', there are seven drug-test volunteers. Just ''one'' of them is a designated control subject, presumably because it aids the story if there's somebody audiences can be sure ''isn't'' going insane from the side effects. [[spoiler: Another character is also spared the effects, as he chickened out and only pretended to take the drug.]]
10th Dec '15 11:58:05 AM FF32
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* Averted in TheKidsInTheHall movie ''Film/BrainCandy'', in a hilarious scene with Creator/BrendanFraser as a guy with bad acne who knows he's in the placebo group.

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* Averted in TheKidsInTheHall Series/TheKidsInTheHall movie ''Film/BrainCandy'', in a hilarious scene with Creator/BrendanFraser as a guy with bad acne who knows he's in the placebo group.
5th Nov '15 6:46:15 AM Berrenta
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A real life application of this trope is [[EmergencyTransformation experimental treatments conducted on terminally-ill patients]]: they know that they're dying, they've tried pretty much everything else, so they will willingly sign approval forms and let you start PlayingWithSyringes on the long shot that you ''might'' be able to save them. This is actually fairly rare, as even if the subject lives, the resultant information is of far less value without knowing exactly ''what'' you did that saved them... which is [[CaptainObvious what you learn from the control group.]] (Well, that, and to make sure the 'treatment' didn't actually kill them ''faster''.) The reason it's done at all is that it's considered unethical to deny possibly-lifesaving treatment from a terminally ill patient in order to use them as part of a control group.

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A real life application of this trope is [[EmergencyTransformation experimental treatments conducted on terminally-ill patients]]: they know that they're dying, they've tried pretty much everything else, so they will willingly sign approval forms and let you start PlayingWithSyringes on the long shot that you ''might'' be able to save them. This is actually fairly rare, as even if the subject lives, the resultant information is of far less value without knowing exactly ''what'' you did that saved them... which is [[CaptainObvious what you learn from the control group.]] group. (Well, that, and to make sure the 'treatment' didn't actually kill them ''faster''.) The reason it's done at all is that it's considered unethical to deny possibly-lifesaving treatment from a terminally ill patient in order to use them as part of a control group.
22nd Oct '15 1:01:45 PM Morgenthaler
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* In ''ReturnOfTheLivingDead 5: Rave From the Grave'', the female protagonist decides to experiment on a group of lab mice with a drug that turns people into zombies. She tells a fellow classmate that she'll set one mouse aside as a control group, and then in the next shot she goes back on her word and gives the drug to the control group. In a later scene, the classmate she lied to lets the mouse out because he thought it didn't have the drug, and ends up being bitten and turned into a zombie for his trouble while the mouse escapes to infect others. So not only did the protagonist violate scientific protocol that she was well aware of, but she lied about it and as a result endangered human lives and is directly responsible for at least part of the local ZombieApocalypse.
* Averted in ''TheSecretOfNIMH'', [[FreezeFrameBonus but only if you pay attention]]. During Nicodemus' flashback, the row below his is marked "CONTROL GROUP." It's difficult to see in the VHS version, however. It's more conspicuously averted in the original book.

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* In ''ReturnOfTheLivingDead 5: Rave From the Grave'', ''Film/ReturnOfTheLivingDeadRaveToTheGrave'', the female protagonist decides to experiment on a group of lab mice with a drug that turns people into zombies. She tells a fellow classmate that she'll set one mouse aside as a control group, and then in the next shot she goes back on her word and gives the drug to the control group. In a later scene, the classmate she lied to lets the mouse out because he thought it didn't have the drug, and ends up being bitten and turned into a zombie for his trouble while the mouse escapes to infect others. So not only did the protagonist violate scientific protocol that she was well aware of, but she lied about it and as a result endangered human lives and is directly responsible for at least part of the local ZombieApocalypse.
* Averted in ''TheSecretOfNIMH'', ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'', [[FreezeFrameBonus but only if you pay attention]]. During Nicodemus' flashback, the row below his is marked "CONTROL GROUP." It's difficult to see in the VHS version, however. It's more conspicuously averted in the original book.



* Take to extremes in the zombie flick ''Devil's Playground'', in which not one of the ''thirty thousand'' volunteer test subjects is apparently given a placebo in lieu of the invigorating (and accidentally-zombifying) experimental drug.

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* Take to extremes in the zombie flick ''Devil's Playground'', ''Film/DevilsPlayground'', in which not one of the ''thirty thousand'' volunteer test subjects is apparently given a placebo in lieu of the invigorating (and accidentally-zombifying) experimental drug.
30th Aug '15 3:20:48 PM erraticegomania
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* While Radham Academy in ''Literature/{{Twig}}'' does practice the scientific method with their BioPunk technology, they tend to prefer iterative improvement over testing with a control group. Any even marginal successful experiment will be tested to destruction, and then a new and improved version will be made.
[[/folder]]
31st Jul '15 2:40:17 PM phoenix
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* ''Film/VForVendetta'' -- The prisoners in the government facility were all exposed to experimental treatments. Not a single one of them seemed to be given placebo drugs. This is probably because, in the graphic novel, it was a parallel to NaziGermany and the main object was to sadistically kill minorities using a face-saving rationale, not to do actual science. After all, for ''real'' science, half-starved and worked-nigh-to-death subjects are less than ideal.

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* ''Film/VForVendetta'' -- The prisoners in the government facility were all exposed to experimental treatments. Not a single one of them seemed to be given placebo drugs. This is probably because, in the graphic novel, it was a parallel to NaziGermany UsefulNotes/NaziGermany and the main object was to sadistically kill minorities using a face-saving rationale, not to do actual science. After all, for ''real'' science, half-starved and worked-nigh-to-death subjects are less than ideal.
2nd Jul '15 5:48:15 AM PaladinPhoenix
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* As an example of why control groups ''are'' important, a study was done to test the effect of sport drinks (Gatorade and the like) on athletic ability. In the first test, the control group and the test subjects were given a drink: the control group got flavored water, and the test subjects the sport drink. Both ended up performing better, with no discernable difference in the increased ability. Scientists chalked it up to the placebo effect and were ready to call it a day. Then someone suggested having the groups "swig and spit", without actually drinking anything. The performance increase (and there ''was'' an increase) was exactly the same for both the test subjects and the control group, even though they weren't actually drinking anything. Result? Sports drinks don't actually help, but they can ''trick your body into thinking they're helping''.
2nd Jul '15 5:42:13 AM PaladinPhoenix
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* Lack of control groups is at the center of the "miracle drug" in ''[[Literature/JohnGrisham The King Of Torts]]''. Doctors love the drug because it works very well and has no side effects. The drug company fears the drug because their lack of adequate testing failed to turn up the fact that the drug causes benign tumors in a user's bladder. Lawyers love the drug because they can use the drug company for damages and the treatment is very simple. [[spoiler: Lawyers and users then hate the drug because the rushed treatments and settlements did not take the time to uncover the fact that the tumors are actually very malignant.]]
2nd Jul '15 5:38:56 AM PaladinPhoenix
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-->God, it was quiet then, and one could scarcely hear the small voice ask, “Which half?”'

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-->God, it was quiet then, and one could scarcely hear the small voice ask, “Which half?”'“[[ArmorPiercingQuestion Which half?]]”'
28th Jun '15 12:45:17 PM Ptorquemada
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** The Japanese "Unit 731" did more along these lines to advance the cause of science than the Nazis did, to the extent that they were essentially pardoned for war crimes in exchange for the data.
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