Dictionary > Control


noun, plural: controls
(general) That which purposefully direct, manipulate, manage, regulate, restrain, or cause change
(science) A subject or a group in an experiment where the factor being tested is not applied, hence, serves as a standard for comparison against another group where the factor is applied
To take charge of; to influence or direct over; to restrain, prevent, or manipulate
In scientific experiments, a scientific control is one in which the subject or a group would not be tested for the dependent variable(s). The inclusion of a control in an experiment is crucial for generating conclusions from the empirical data. A study with control(s) is designed to ensure that the effects are due to the independent variables in the experiment. The use of controls allows to study one variable or factor at a time. It is, however, important that both the control and other (experimental) group(s) are exposed to the same conditions apart from the one variable under study. Doing so will help draw conclusions that are more accurate and reliable.
A biological control is the use of organism(s) to control the population of another group of organisms.
Word origin: Latin contrarotulare, from contra (“opposite”) + rotula (“roll”, “”little wheel”)
Related term(s):

Related form(s):

  • controllable (adjective)
  • controlling (verb: present participle)
  • controlled (verb: simple past)

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