control group

A group used for comparison with another, either because it represents the most common or typical case, or because it illustrates the absence of some phenomenon being studied. Human beings are not inert, lifeless matter, and hence cannot be studied simply by carrying out before-and-after studies around some experimental stimulus applied to them. Many other developments and changes will be occurring spontaneously at the same time, as people go about their lives, and it is difficult to disentangle the effects of one particular stimulus from all the others affecting people, as individuals or as groups, at the same time. The solution is to identify a group, or social aggregate, that serves as a control group in providing information on characteristics or changes in a baseline situation that is as close to ‘ordinary’ as possible, or illustrates social behaviour in the absence of the key factor of interest. Control groups can be created at the sampling stage, through statistical manipulation of the data-set, or during analysis. The most rigorous type is experimental controls, obtained by random allocation of cases. See also control (experimental).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • control group — conˈtrol group noun [countable] STATISTICS in a test, a group of people or things that you do not test and that you then compare with the group being tested. By using a control group, you can see if the results of your test are caused by the… …   Financial and business terms

  • control group — Control Con*trol , n. [F. contr[^o]le a counter register, contr. fr. contr r[^o]le; contre (L. contra) + r[^o]le roll, catalogue. See {Counter} and {Roll}, and cf. {Counterroll}.] 1. A duplicate book, register, or account, kept to correct or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • control group — n. a group that serves as the control in a scientific experiment; specif., such a group that does not receive the substance, drug, treatment, etc. being tested …   English World dictionary

  • control group — (in an experiment or clinical trial) a group of subjects closely resembling the treatment group in many demographic variables but not receiving the active medication or factor under study and thereby serving as a comparison group when treatment… …   Useful english dictionary

  • control group — With reference to those whose communications with an attorney on behalf of a corporation are within the attorney client privilege, this group consists of those persons who have authority to control, or substantially participate in, decisions… …   Black's law dictionary

  • control group — /kənˈtroʊl grup/ (say kuhn trohl groohp) noun a group which acts as a control (def. 6) in an experiment where the results are analysed statistically, as in the testing of drugs …   Australian English dictionary

  • control group — (in an experiment or clinical trial) a group of subjects closely resembling the treatment group in many demographic variables but not receiving the active medication or factor under study and thereby serving as a comparison group when treatment… …   Universalium

  • control group — In a clinical trial, the group that does not receive the new treatment being studied. This group is compared to the group that receives the new treatment, to see if the new treatment works …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • control group — experimental group used to verify the results of an experiment via comparison to the subject group …   English contemporary dictionary

  • control group — /kən trəυl gru:p/ noun a small group which is used to check a sample group …   Marketing dictionary in english

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