What is my control group?

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What is my control group?

Postby gray_matter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:05 pm

I am doing a project called, "Heart Rate recovery time" and I am measuring how fast heart rate recovers after exercise. I am testing boys vs. girls and my hypothesis is that the heart rate of boys will recover more quickly after exercise. I am having trouble determining the experimental group and the control group in this experiment. If the treatment is the same for both groups, which one is the control group?
Thank you for helping me.
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Re: What is my control group?

Postby scibuddyAK » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:35 pm

Hi there,

I guess you're talking about this project? http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ml#summary
If so, good choice! Also, great job on formulating your hypothesis. :)

Because this is a project testing people, I agree it is a little difficult to determine a clear control. However, remember that a control is simply a standard of comparison. Think about this as you try to identify what you plan to compare your results to - perhaps a standard, accepted, or average value for human heart rate? The ScienceBuddies website has excellent tips to help you determine these, so a look there may help a great deal!
For an experimental group, it would be both groups in my opinion if your control is something else, i.e. determined from research.

Hope this helps! Let me know what you decide!
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Re: What is my control group?

Postby vsurya » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:47 pm


scibuddyAK brought up a great point, you need to find something in common between both the boys and the girls tested in order for you to directly compare them. It would also be good for you to further develop your hypothesis? What specifically about boys versus girls makes you think their heart rate recovers quicker after exercise? Once you figure out what you think is causing this, this will help you develop a control because then you can find members of both groups which have this similar trait for a direct comparison.

Feel free to mention some ideas you have, I hope that this helps you!

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Re: What is my control group?

Postby Schmetterling14 » Sat May 31, 2014 10:00 am

To get a control group you can test the resting heart rate of say 20 boys and 20 girls. From there you can take 10 boys who have the closest resting heart rates to each other and do the same for the girls and have this group of 20 be your control group and have them do something like watch tv for the same amount of time that your experiemental group will be exercising. Then you can look at the baseline (aka resting heart rates) of the exercise group and measure their heart rate at the end of the exercise and then time how long it takes for their heart rate to get back to their baseline. You will be able to see how long it takes each person and you'll be able to see which gender had their heart rate back to baseline the fastest.
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