This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← The trouble with homeopathy

Tyler Durden's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Tyler Durden

13. Comment #463523 by jinmane

I'm probably being really dumb here, but I don't quite understand why the control samples need to be shaken.
All conditions in the experiment must be replicated across the board to rule out bias, and to isolate exactly what effect the Independent Variable (IV) is having (or not) on the Dependent Variable(s) (DV).

In Richard's example above, the IV = the homeopathic remedy itself; the DV = the participant(s) in both groups.

The variable which is being manipulated by the researcher is therefore called the Independent Variable and the Dependent Variable is the change in behaviour measured by the researcher.

In a True Experiment, we are testing the deliberate manipulation of one variable, while trying to keep all other variables constant. If not, we cannot know for sure why the change, if any, occurs. Homeopathic remedies are shaken x times as part of their "effectiveness", so must the control substance.

We're not trying to show "that it doesn't work at all", we're looking for no difference between the two groups.

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 13:41:00 UTC | #443736