What Does ‘Double Blind Study’ Mean?
You've probably heard the term "double blind study" on TV during certain commercials, but what does it exactly mean?
Most commonly, we hear this phrase on commercials for diet pills, supplements for weight loss, and things like that. If you're already feeling a little uneasy about taking a 'magical' pill that's going to help you lose weight, the phrase "double blind study" may make you feel that much more unsure of a product.
But in this case, a double blind study is actually a good thing. So what exactly does double blind study mean? Well, first we'll take a look at what a "blind study" is. According to Wikipedia,
Blind testing is used wherever items are to be compared without influences from testers' preferences or expectations, for example in clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal drugs and procedures without placebo effect, observer bias, or conscious deception; and comparative testing of commercial products to objectively assess user preferences without being influenced by branding and other properties not being tested.
In a double blind study (or testing) some patients receive the drug and other patients receive the placebo. The thing that's different, is administrators of the drug do not know which patients received the drug and which ones didn't. It's a better way to test results and make sure there isn't a "placebo effect."
When it comes to the commercials that say their product went through a double blind study, you can actually feel a little bit better about the study. Although, double blind study may sound like a bad thing (or like some sort of catch, not to do a regular study), it really isn't.