What specific claims do the manufactures make about their product?
Viviscal is a hair loss treatment which works as a drug-free hair growth supplement that is based on AminoMar. The hair loss treatment formula is based on the diet of the Inuit people (the indigenous people of Arctic regions of North America).
Explain why it is important that all individuals—not just scientists—have a clear understanding of science as a method of inquiry.
The scientific method of inquiry is important to help the public understand the principle behind a particular theory. In this case, the public learns of the chemical principle behind the product’s function on hair growth. In a business perspective, companies gain trust by linking their products to scientific research as it proves of their product’s credibility and reliability.
Research Design: The appropriate employment of control and experimental study groups, selection of appropriate dependent and independent variables, and control of potential confounding variables are vital aspects of scientific investigations. (9 pts possible)
Identify the following components of the study.
Is the experiment described an appropriate test of the claims made by the manufacturer? Explain.
Yes. The results of the study suggested that the treatment with Viviscal hair growth supplement improved terminus hair with prolonged use (terminus hairs increased at 90 and 180 days of using Viviscal hair growth oral supplement). There was a significant increase in terminus hair from 271 at baseline to 571 at 90 days and 609.6 at 180 days p<0.001.
What is the purpose of a control group in an investigation?
The control group in this experiment aided in ensuring the independent variable which was the placebo does not influence the results. The control group isolates the effect of the placebo on the experiment and thus rules out alternative explanations of the results.
Data Analysis & Conclusions: Science is a method of inquiry that is based on a critical evaluation of data. (6 pts possible)
Report the actual data from your product here.
The results of the study show that there was a significant increase in terminus hair in the treatment group (p<0.001). The baseline terminus hair increased from 271.0 to 571.0 and 609.6 after 90 and 180 days respectively. At baseline the number of terminus hair among placebo-treated study population remained the same (256.0 and remained at 245.0 and 242.2 after 90 and 180 days, respectively
Why is it important to utilize statistical procedures to analyze data?
Statistical procedures helps to evaluate the credibility of the data collected and analyzed so as to make informed decision.
What conclusions can be drawn from the data?
The study concluded that the daily proprietary nutritional supplement resulted to a significant increase on hair growth after 90 and 180 days. Also, additional treatment after 90 and 180 days resulted in self-perceived improvements indicating possibility of continued growth with prolonged use.
Why are testimonials and anecdotal evidence of limited value to scientific investigations?
Testimonials have limited values in scientific research because they rely on experiences, beliefs as well as feedback. Thus, the information is often misinterpreted, exaggerated and biased.
Validity of Claims: A critical evaluation of scientific claims through the process of ‘peer review’ is a hallmark of science as a method of inquiry. In this process, other scientists critically analyze the methods and results of a study to help establish the validity of the findings. (6 pts possible)
What comments/questions do you think scientists who review the work might have for the researchers who conducted this study?
The randomized double blind design was significant for the study. However, it should have used a larger sample size rather than the sample size that is representative of a larger population. Factors such as ethnic diversity and nutrition should have been considered as control variables they play a key role in the study.
- Glynis, A. (2012). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy of an oral supplement in women with self-perceived thinning hair. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 5(11), 28.