Control Group

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  • The group in an experiment that is not exposed to the independent variable (e.g., does not receive the treatment or intervention). The control group provides a basis for comparison. Optimally, the control group should be identical to the experimental group in every way except for the fact of not having received the intervention or experimental manipulation. To reach this goal, research participants are randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups. When all other factors or aspects of the experimental environment are kept constant, the difference observed in the dependent variable (between the control and experimental groups) may be attributed to the effect of the independent variable.

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