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Control conditions refers to the setting or circumstances experienced by persons who are not of primary interest to the researcher or evaluator. For example, a summative evaluator might use a quasiexperiment to contrast the outcomes of program participants with subjects in control conditions. These should be as similar as possible to program conditions, with the exception of those critical components (treatments, interventions, experiences) that uniquely define the program. Thus, if the program participants display superior outcomes to control subjects, the finding can plausibly be attributed to the program, not to irrelevant factors in the environment of participants.

Joseph M. Petrosko
Further Reading
Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T.(2002)Experimental and quasiexperimental designs for generalized causal inference. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
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