Bad Science/Placebo/Worksheet

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The Placebo Effect: Do You Believe Your Teacher?[edit | edit source]

Student Worksheets[edit | edit source]

Do you believe your teacher?

What happens when you drink a caffeinated drink (either coffee or cola)?

Try out all or some of the following tests before you have a caffeinated drink:

  • Reaction test (how fast are your reflexes?)
  • Take your pulse (how many heartbeats per minute?)
  • Memory test (how good is your memory/concentration?)
  • Steadiness of hand (how shaky are your hands?)

Make a note of your measurements, then have your caffeinated drink, wait 10-15 minutes, and then do the tests again. Have your measurements changed?

Before drink After drink Reaction time Pulse measurement Memory test Steadiness of hand

What drink did you have? Are you surprised at what happened?

Clinical Trials in the Classroom: Do your friends believe you?

In this activity, you are the scientists and administrative staff conducting research on your friends…. What were your results? Do your friends believe everything they hear from you? Student Name Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

What was the label on their cup?

How did the caffeinated cola drinkers differ from the de-caffeinated cola drinkers?

Or was there any difference?