Double blind

Double-blind describes an especially stringent way of conducting an experiment, usually on human subjects, in an attempt to eliminate subjective bias on the part of both experimental subjects and the experimenters. In most cases, double-blind experiments are held to achieve a higher standard of scientific rigour.

In a double-blind experiment, neither the individuals nor the researchers know who belongs to the control group and the experimental group. Only after all the data have been recorded (and in some cases, analyzed) do the researchers learn which individuals are which. Performing an experiment in double-blind fashion is a way to lessen the influence of the prejudices and unintentional physical cues on the results (the placebo effect, observer bias, and experimenter’s bias). Random assignment of the subject to the experimental or control group is a critical part of double-blind research design. The key that identifies the subjects and which group they belonged to is kept by a third party and not given to the researchers until the study is over.

Double-blind methods can be applied to any experimental situation where there is the possibility that the results will be affected by conscious or unconscious bias on the part of the experimenter.

Computer-controlled experiments are sometimes also referred to as double-blind experiments, since software should not cause any bias. In analogy to the above, the part of the software that provides interaction with the human is the blinded researcher, while the part of the software that defines the key is the third party. An example is the ABX test, where the human subject has to identify an unknown stimulus X as being either A or B.”

(Wikipédia, blind experiments)