Worked example identifying experiment | Study design | AP Statistics | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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November 4, 2016
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Worked example identifying experiment | Study design | AP Statistics | Khan Academy

TL;DR

A group of doctors conducted an experiment comparing the effectiveness of placebo pills and real pills in treating migraines, but the study was flawed because both groups were told which type of pill they received.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What was the purpose of comparing placebo pills and real pills in this study?

The purpose was to determine whether the real pills have a significant effect beyond the placebo effect in treating migraines.

Q: What type of study was conducted?

This was a classic experiment, as the researchers randomly assigned patients to two groups and aimed to establish a causal relationship between the pills and migraine improvement.

Q: Why is it problematic that both groups were told which type of pill they received?

It undermines the placebo effect because patients who know they received a placebo may not experience the same psychological benefits that placebo pills usually provide.

Q: Was this study well-conducted?

No, informing both groups about the type of pill they were taking contradicts the purpose of a placebo and compromises the study's validity.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • A group of doctors wanted to compare the effectiveness of placebo pills and real pills in treating migraines.

  • They randomly assigned 300 patients into two groups: placebo group and real pill group.

  • Both groups were informed about which type of pill they received, which undermines the purpose of a placebo effect.

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