History Main / NoControlGroup

9th Nov '16 12:12:51 PM JBK405
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* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' [[MadScientist Dr. Wanless]] tells the students that half of them will be receiving distilled water (and the other half will be receiving a mildly hallucinogenic drug called "Lot 6"), but it's made clear later on that all of the volunteers received "Lot 6" (which induces a wide variety of psychic powers in the subjects, some of which are permanent -- not to mention acting as a mutagen which produces even stronger results in the children of those who receive it). Although there isn't much need to cancel the placebo effect if you don't tell the subjects what are they actually getting...

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* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' [[MadScientist Dr. Wanless]] tells the students that half of them will be receiving distilled water (and and the other half will be receiving a mildly hallucinogenic drug called "Lot 6"), 6", but it's made clear later on that all of the volunteers received "Lot 6" (which induces 6". It is implied that he lied because he knew that there was a wide variety 50% mortality rate from the drug and he needed an excuse for why half of psychic powers the participants in the subjects, some of which are permanent -- not to mention acting as a mutagen which produces even stronger results in study were gone the children of those who receive it). Although there isn't much need to cancel the placebo effect if you don't tell the subjects what are they actually getting...next morning.
28th Oct '16 12:43:21 PM Wordpainter
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Scientific experiments are a funny thing. When doing one, you need to have two groups -- the control group and the experimental group. Heck, sometimes there can be ''multiple'' control groups. This is done to make sure that the results of the experiments actually come from the things the scientists are doing, and don't happen on their own due to placebo effect or something in the test environment they weren't aware of.

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Scientific experiments are a funny thing. When doing one, you need to have two groups -- the control group and the experimental group. Heck, sometimes there can be ''multiple'' control groups.groups (it's a common misconception that a control group has no intervention at all, or only a placebo--the control group may be getting a standard treatment, and more than one treatment may be approved). This is done to make sure that the results of the experiments actually come from the things the scientists are doing, and don't happen on their own due to placebo effect or something in the test environment they weren't aware of.
3rd Aug '16 2:30:32 PM margdean56
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* The dirty little secret about the Nazi death camps, one which all Western countries -and Russia - are unwilling to admit to, is that many of the experiments carried out on living people by the Nazis did indeed provide valid scientific knowledge of a sort which would have been impossible to recreate in any country with a normal regard for human rights. The Nazis systematically and ruthlessly tested concepts on living people, adhering rigidly to scientific protocols (including repeatability) and testing against "control groups". Much of their research on behalf of the Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine involved replicating the effects of extreme temperature and pressure change on human bodies and human endurance. This involved pressure chambers in which the atmospheric effects of either extremely high flight or extremely low depths were tested on living people, with and without experimental flight-suits or diving/submarine apparatus. Nobody wants to admit how Nazi research still keeps our military pilots and submariners able to function[[note]]without Britain, the USA, Russia or even Israel having to do anything ''directly'' morally unsound[[/note]], but this, alas, is the truth.

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* The dirty little secret about the Nazi death camps, one which all Western countries -and Russia - are countries--and Russia--are unwilling to admit to, is that many of the experiments carried out on living people by the Nazis did indeed provide valid scientific knowledge of a sort which would have been impossible to recreate in any country with a normal regard for human rights. The Nazis systematically and ruthlessly tested concepts on living people, adhering rigidly to scientific protocols (including repeatability) and testing against "control groups". Much of their research on behalf of the Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine involved replicating the effects of extreme temperature and pressure change on human bodies and human endurance. This involved pressure chambers in which the atmospheric effects of either extremely high flight or extremely low depths were tested on living people, with and without experimental flight-suits or diving/submarine apparatus. Nobody wants to admit how Nazi research still keeps our military pilots and submariners able to function[[note]]without Britain, the USA, Russia or even Israel having to do anything ''directly'' morally unsound[[/note]], but this, alas, is the truth.
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''.
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