Understanding Research Methods

Many claims have emerged regarding yoga’s ability to cure various ailments, but it can be tricky to know which practices are truly evidence-based. Knowing how to interpret a study’s methodology can help you identify strengths and weaknesses of the research and make better sense of the results. Here’s a guide to some key methodological terms to help you with that process.

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Causality: A direct, measurable and observable outcome. It shows that change in one variable causes a change in another variable.

Comparison group: Arm of the study that receives either no treatment, business-as-usual treatment, or a comparison treatment

Control group:  Term for the comparison group that specifically refers to randomized controlled trials

Correlation: Suggested or implied link that may be a result of a pattern. Correlational studies establish relationships between variables but not direct cause and effect.

Measure: Standard for comparison against which other things can be evaluated

Treatment group:  Arm of the study that receives the intervention or exposure of interest

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