Randomized Controlled Trials

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Randomized Controlled Trials

By | April 2012
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What is meant by double-blind, randomized controlled trial? Explain why such trials are used in psychological research with reference to one specific, published psychological experiment.

Randomized controlled trials are considered the gold level standard of proof of many research techniques where treatments and therapies are concerned by the scientific community. A study in which participants are allocated at random to receive one of several treatments testing the effectiveness of psychological interventions or pharmacotherapy is known as a randomized controlled trial. This is a scientific study which is conducted by double-blind experiments. In a double-blind experiment neither the researcher nor the participants know who belongs to the control group and who belongs to the experiment group. This helps to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias by experimenter and participants. One variable is manipulated to get a true experiment while other variables are held constant. These trials establish the efficiency of a treatment as well as learn about its side effects. Administering this treatment has been proven to have powerful psychological effects on the participant which is known as placebo effect. Though randomized controlled trials are criticised by some experts these trials are used in psychological research as a means to establish results effects and side effects of a treatment as analysed in a report Psychotherapy and the placebo effect (Rosenthal, D and Frank ,J. D).

Randomized controlled trial is designed to make decisions that address questions like if we have disorder X is treatment A or treatment B going to be effect to treat the disorder? There is always a need to know if there is an alternative treatment and randomized trials help to make a decision the treatment is effective or not. It has been found that placebos are as effective as other ingredients in the reduction of symptoms and distress. In a study of cold vaccines by Diehl, Baker and...

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