Power Balance

  • Thread starter flatmaster
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http://www.powerbalance.com/

Has anyone researched the power balance bracelet? I bought one for $30 and I'm going to test it on some high schoolers. I think everyone here would be convinced that this is complete quackery, however, I think there is still a valuable lesson about peer review and double-blind studies.
 

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  • #2
mgb_phys
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double-blind studies.
How exactly do you do a double-blind study, don't tell people they are wearing one?

There is also a management effect where whenever you study something that is supposed to improve performance you will see an improvement - just because people work harder when somebody is standing over them with a clip-board
 
  • #3
Moonbear
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How exactly do you do a double-blind study, don't tell people they are wearing one?

There is also a management effect where whenever you study something that is supposed to improve performance you will see an improvement - just because people work harder when somebody is standing over them with a clip-board
It might be possible to do a single blind study, but I agree, a double blind study would be hard to do. If you gave a bunch of people those wristbands, or some other plastic wristband, and didn't really tell them what they were for, or what they were supposed to do, just that it was to "support a good cause" or something like that, then monitored their performance in something like a gym class, and see if it was better with the "magic" wristbands. If you can tell who is in what group, you would absolutely need some VERY objective measures. Or, you might have the data collected by someone else who could still tell by looking that people were in different groups, but didn't know which one was the test or control group.

To do a double blind study, you'd actually have to manufacture wristbands that are identical in appearance, put them into bags that were coded by someone else, and hand them out to people without you or the subject knowing what the codes meant. Then you could monitor their performance at physical activities, and only after the entire study was done, break the code.

Though, flatmaster didn't say s/he was going to do a double-blind study, only that s/he would demonstrate the importance of double-blind studies. S/he might be demonstrating the flaws in an alternative design.
 
  • #4
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Though, flatmaster didn't say s/he was going to do a double-blind study, only that s/he would demonstrate the importance of double-blind studies. S/he might be demonstrating the flaws in an alternative design.
It's he.

And yes, the plan would be merely to talk about double-blind studies.
 
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  • #6
Chronos
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er, copper bracelets anyone? I have friends who wear them and green wrists are the most prominent effect. If I pretend not to notice, is that a double blind test?
 
  • #8
I'm glad this is going out of business. I know a lot of sports fans who are extremely superstitious who have to wear the same jersey to every game they go to because they think whatever they may do has some kind of effect on the outcome of an event.

They abused these sports fans' superstition by telling them these bracelets will make you faster, stronger, and run longer. I have been bothered several times by the employees at the mall in SLC that tell me all about it. Of course, I was courteous and gave them the time to explain the product. Apparently, not only does it give you strength and balance, but it also uses "holographic technology" to "revitalize the ions in your body." Surely, anyone on PF will realize how big of a joke this feeble explanation was.

The trick is they ask you to hold your arms out to your sides and they pull your arm before and after wearing the bracelet to show how much more balance you have. They show this by using simple physics: they pull your arm first parallel to the length of your arm, where a larger moment/torque develops. Upon donning the bracelet, they pull downward, near your shoulder, where the moment arm (no pun intended) is smaller, since the distance from the location of the applied force to the person's center of gravity has been reduced. She tried to do this to me...I had to do all I could to not laugh out loud (I figured she's probably a desperate college student like me, trying to pay the bills).

Let's hope nothing like this ever happens again....

So....anyone excited to see The Phantom Menace in 3D? ;)
 
  • #9
Drakkith
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So....anyone excited to see The Phantom Menace in 3D? ;)
Only if they delete JarJar from the timeline. The real world one. And then pay me to go see it.
 
  • #10
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ooh, are these the same thing as those "EMF" neutralizers? They talk about "subtle energy" fields and programming vibrational patterns into a hologram so it would resonate with what the human body oughtta be resonating at... I don't get it. I thought it was just for office use because of all those electronic appliances, and not for sports enhancement.
 
  • #11
Drakkith
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ooh, are these the same thing as those "EMF" neutralizers? They talk about "subtle energy" fields and programming vibrational patterns into a hologram so it would resonate with what the human body oughtta be resonating at... I don't get it. I thought it was just for office use because of all those electronic appliances, and not for sports enhancement.
It is one hundred percent a scam. The bracelets do nothing useful.
 
  • #12
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