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By definition, the control group in an experiment is the group that is not subject to the change. Hence, which group is that?
Yes. Now, by definition, the independent variable is the thing you are changing with the hope of some result. What is that here?
to staple papers?
No. Think of this variable as input into the system. What input has changed?
Yes. The indep variable is "Whether or not the worker(s) get the special juice" Now the dependent variable is the output, the thing you are measuring to see if changing the independent variable had any impact, what's that here?
the work effort put into stapleing papers?
No, that's not the output. The output is the number of stacks of paper they have stapled. That's the thing the experiment measures. That is why the experiment gives us measurement of that variable as part of the results.
Now ... what's he answer to "What should Smithers' conclusion be?"
the special juice does not work
Yes. In fact, it seems to have lower the productivity of the workers, not raised it. It has had the opposite effect to the hypothesized outcome.