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control group[kən′trōl ‚grüp]
A sample in which a factor whose effect is being estimated is absent or is held constant, in order to provide a comparison.
control group or
control condition a group matched with the EXPERIMENTAL GROUP in all aspects except that it is not treated with the INDEPENDENT VARIABLE whose effect is to be studied. A control group is an essential part of EXPERIMENTAL METHOD design, since, unless a comparison is made between two groups, one having been subject to the variable and one not, it is difficult to conclude that any change is due to that variable. See also CONTROL, STATISTICAL.