Blinding For the study described in Exercise 34, blinding will be used. What is blinding, and why was it important in this experiment?
Step 1 of 1
Blinding is the practice of not telling subjects whether they are receiving a placebo. In this way, subjects in the control and treatment groups experience the placebo effect equally. Often, knowledge of which groups receive placebos is also kept from analysts who evaluate the experiment. This practice is called double blinding. It prevents the analysts from "spilling the beans" to subjects through subtle cues; and it assures that their evaluation is not tainted by awareness of actual treatment conditions.
Blinding is especially important in subjective trials to avoid skewed results. For example, blinding would be used where pain relief is being studied. If a patient knows they are receiving a “real” drug, they will be more likely to report pain relief than those patients receiving a placebo. Blinding is less important in trials when there is a more objective criteria at stake, such as avoiding a patient’s death (for example, in cancer trials).