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The term positive control has several meanings.
Usage in experimental designEdit
A positive control is an experimental procedure that causes a known effect when applied to a sample population.
The positive control in experiments reveals that a certain procedure works according to expectations and actually gives you the expected results. It shows that the experiment is functioning as it should; in practice this means that your subject(s) are exposed to a substance or procedure with a known effect.
One says that positive control has been achieved when what happens is what was intended to happen and that's all that happens.