Randomized Experiments

Controlling. Researchers assign treatments to cases, and they do their best to control any other differences in the groups.27 For example, when patients take a drug in pill form, some patients take the pill with only a sip of water while others may have it with an entire glass of water. To control for the effect of water consumption, a doctor may ask all patients to drink a 12 ounce glass of water with the pill.

Randomization. Researchers randomize patients into treatment groups to account for variables that cannot be controlled. For example, some patients may be more susceptible to a disease than others due to their dietary habits. Randomizing patients into the treatment or control group helps even out such differences, and it also prevents accidental bias from entering the study.

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