Control Group

A control group is a group of participants who act as the standard to which comparisons are made in clinical research. The control group resembles the experimental group but does not receive the intervention being studied. The control group may be provided the current standard of care, placebo, or no intervention. To ensure that the groups resemble one another, assignment of participants is usually random.

What is the importance of a control group?

Having a control group allows researchers to observe and measure the impact of the intervention to the current standard. Accounting for potential confounding variables, double blinding, and random assignment will decrease the risk of creating an invalid control group and increase the validity of the research.

Source: NIA Glossary of Clinical Research Terms. (n.d.). National Institute on Aging. Retrieved January 8, 2022, from