scientific method question?

If I wanted to do an experiment following the scientific method of will drinking Hibiscus tea help me get rid of my cold? 

How would it be?

I read that doing it like this would be wrong: 

Take a group of people with colds

Give half of them Hibiscus tea

Give the other half nothing

I taught the control would be the group that did not get the tea

They said it is better like this:

Group 1, [experimental] will get the Hibiscus tea

Group 2, [control] will get hot water with food color added

Or would it be better like this?

Group 1: was given nothing (control)

Group 2: was given hot water

Group 3: was given hibiscus tea

What would be the best way to do this experiment?

Thanks in advance

4 Answers

  • Zardoz
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You cannot. You'd have to catch a lot of colds over the course of many years and rule out all other potential causes. You'd be better off trusting that you are common to thousands of other people and let them catch all the colds needed to rule out all other potential causes and assume the data gained applies to yourself as well.

    Or you could learn how to phrase a hypothesis.

    Source(s): [n] = 10ⁿ
  • John P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    What on Earth is 'will drinking'?

  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The best test in its own right is a Randomised Double Blind Trial. Randomly split the test subjects into two groups, A and B. One group gets the treatment and the other gets a placebo that is superficially indistinguishable from the treatment. Neither the subjects or the experimenters know which group gets the treatment and which gets the placebo.


    This obviously requires working with a third party who can independently choose which group gets the treatment and distribute the treatments and placebos. The statistical analysis is done on the results of A versus B and only at the end do the experimenters find out which group was assigned the proper treatment. This supposedly removes experimenter bias. There is a possible placebo effect  present but because the two groups have the same experience the statistics show differences extra to the placebo effect.


    For even better results there can be another group that gets no treatment (all groups have the same symptoms). This isn't strictly needed but it helps quantify the actual placebo effect which can be rather sobering - sometimes the placebo effect of being being treated at all is quite big (ie taking a placebo or the proper treatment) and the proper treatment only makes a small improvement above that.

  • Matt
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    I don’t think it could ever be a purely scientific experiment because not all colds are the same, not everyone is affected in the same way by a cold, and you cannot know for sure that the Hibiscus tea was the deciding factor in any one instance. For example, one subject may have had more sleep than the others, or may have consumed more vitamin C than the others which may have helped them to get better more quickly, leading you to conclude (erroneously) that the tea has made the difference

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