Randomized Controlled Trials

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What is meant by double-blind, randomized controlled trial? Explain why such trials are used in psychological research with reference to one specific, published psychological experiment.

Randomized controlled trials are considered the gold level standard of proof of many research techniques where treatments and therapies are concerned by the scientific community. A study in which participants are allocated at random to receive one of several treatments testing the effectiveness of psychological interventions or pharmacotherapy is known as a randomized controlled trial. This is a scientific study which is conducted by double-blind experiments. In a double-blind experiment neither the researcher nor the participants know who belongs to
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Randomized controlled trials design allow for data to be capture and represented clearly for comparison. Data capturing software commonly used are EXCEL and SPSS. This software is used to maintain database for studies and keep track of any modifications and participant follow ups. Randomized controlled trials provide statistical evidence which can be used by this software and in turn allow for statistical analysis. This helps create a final report for and audience to read the important scientific findings. It also helps future therapists to be able to replicate the study at a later date.

Placebo in randomized controlled trials when supported by sound methodological consideration are justifiable. Trials with placebo used can be conducted with fewer patients as compared to trials with active ingredients being used. The trials with placebo group offer comparisons in which maximum treatment separation, the group that is exposed to the treatment and the group not exposed to the treatment. This increases the likelihood of detecting if the treatment works or could produce harmful side effects. Randomized controlled trial is the most accurate test of efficiency especially in pharmacotherapy trials with the use of placebos.

Researchers have argued that randomized controlled trials method favour biological treatments over psychological ones and it cannot assess the role that psychosocial factors like doctor-patient relationships. Wolf
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