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wedrifid comments on How does long-term use of caffeine affect productivity? - Less Wrong

12 Post author: quartz 11 April 2012 11:09PM

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Comment author: wedrifid 12 April 2012 07:05:42AM 3 points [-]

While you're looking for studies, have you considered just starting a double-blind experiment? If you've read my page on nootropics, it should be pretty clear how you could do it with a water-soluble substance like caffeine and where you could get cheap bulk caffeine.

If you are doing it just on yourself isn't it just a blind experiment?

Comment author: gwern 12 April 2012 03:35:17PM 2 points [-]

It's useful to say 'double-blind' rather than 'blind' to forestall confusion - 'double-blind' caters both to people clever enough to realize that blind=double-blind for self-experimenting and also to people not that clever or just not thinking of it.

Comment author: thomblake 12 April 2012 04:45:08PM 3 points [-]

In skeptical circles, saying "double-blind" for self-experimentation is a watchword for crankdom. It often gets followed by something like "Can you describe the procedure you followed to make the experiment double-blind?"

Comment author: gwern 12 April 2012 05:18:13PM 2 points [-]

It is?

Comment author: thomblake 12 April 2012 06:05:17PM 1 point [-]

I can't find a reference quickly - apparently it's not as common as I'd thought.

Comment author: wedrifid 12 April 2012 03:49:06PM *  3 points [-]

It's useful to say 'double-blind' rather than 'blind' to forestall confusion - 'double-blind' caters both to people clever enough to realize that blind=double-blind for self-experimenting and also to people not that clever or just not thinking of it.

Yeah, I tend to be conflicted when describing such experiments, for that reason. To most 'double-blind' just sounds like a word for 'scientific' and writing "blind (which incorporates all the rigor inherent in 'double-blind' in as much as both the subject and the experimenter are blind but it isn't "double blind" per se since it is just one dude" is a little verbose. I think I may just go with "self-blinded experiments".

Comment author: DanielLC 12 March 2015 05:18:10PM 0 points [-]

Double-blind means that neither the scientist nor the subject know which is the control. Blind would be just the scientist knows. If you do an experiment on yourself, it can't be just a blind experiment.