Control group

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The control group is a hypothesized segment of the TIPster population who were granted access to TIP despite the fact that they failed to meet the entrance requirements. Supposedly they are allowed in as part of a scientific study to see how they fare in tough classes in the presence of smarter peers. In both TIP Lore evening activities at East Term II of 2009 and 2010, it has been said that at the beginning of Duke, there was indeed a control group. Whether one exists now or not is unclear, but it's based on actual history of the camp.


  • Ex. 1

Can you believe Sweatshop Girl said sweatshop workers must be happy to have jobs? She MUST be control group.
Person One: Steve Jobs, he's the microsoft guy, right?
Person Two: What are you, control group?

  • Ex. 2

Control Kid: "I'm not weird, you're all just normal!"
Everyone else: "Poor control group child..."

Prevalence by campus

This theory was not at Duke West term I in 2005, however it was definitely present in 2005 at term II...however, it was an RC who resurrected it. He passed the theory on to a few 3rd and 4th years, in the hopes that the theory would be passed on to future TIP generations. The control group of 2005 West, it is theorized, was the entire group of 2nd years.

The control group theory is prevalent at Duke East, in both terms, and has been for many years. The PILF class made a short film about the Control Group in Term II 2004.

The rumor was back at Duke West Term I '09 that half of the forensics class and almost all of the second year girls were part of the control group.

Texas A&M 2011 Term 2: a phrase frequently used.

At UGA Term 2 2012 the term "Control group" was was frequently used when a person said or did something stupid. The phrase originated from the TipLore evening activity in the second week.

Why it's not true

This legend refuses to die, and with good reason - its funny and partially convincing. However, it implies the wrong understanding of what the TIP experiment in educational psychology is about. TIP is about (for the main office, at least) studying how gifted students react to a non-traditional classroom environment (no homework, no grades, one class intensively, etc.). So, the 'control group' for such an experiment would be gifted students in a traditional classroom environment, i.e. any gifted student who does not attend TIP. So there is no control group at TIP.

The theory originated in Dr.Kane's class (the instructor that been at east since the 80's) while they were discussing an economic principle. The class (micro or macro?) called themselves the control group.

Why it's definitely true

  • The second years who performed Party in the USA
  • The WF Term 2 2016 That's Debatable Class
  • The outbreak of "Dabbing" at all campuses
  • Duke East Group Poop 2019

Alternative Theories on the Nature of the Experiment

- One could also argue that it is not an experiment of learning in a new environment, with "giftedness" as a constant variable, but an experiment in learning patterns based on whether or not one is gifted or a control group, by comparing various gifted individuals as the independent variable, with an average human thrown in the mixture for the "control."

- Still others have argued that the true purpose of the Experiment has always been to make TIPsters gay

- Perhaps all of TiP is in fact a simulation/fever dream

- The concept of any sort of experiment was invented only to toy with the weakminded among us

*That one person at East in 2018 who thought the ovaries were in the boobs

How To Identify the Control

When you suspect someone is control, observe their actions very intensely, especially at lunch and dinner. If they do not break into furious debate about pointless topics, they are likely control, as their brain is not capable of processing the depth of pointlessly debating.


Macie “brightside” Richardson

Lily Cate Hunter™

Sophie Knapp