After reading the article, what hypothesis do you think the researchers were testing in this study? Looking at the article of Merikle and Skanes, they analyzed the relationship revolving around the actual effects of subliminal tapes on the way it enhances or helps users in their problems pertaining to various health reasons. “The present study was a direct attempt to evaluate possible placebo effects that may occur following regular listening to subliminal audiotapes” (Merikle and Skanes, 1992, p. 773)
In their study though, the two did not mention any hypothesis concerning the relationship of subliminal tapes in achieving a placebo effect among its patrons.
Due to this, after reading the article, a probable hypothesis that the researchers used in testing the study revolved around establishing the relationship and actual effect of subliminal tapes and the placebo effect among its users.
In addition, the hypothesis may have been geared towards such claim due to the fact that in their analysis and discussion, the two pointed out that subliminal message/s in audiotapes have no relationship whatever to persons achieving a placebo effect and creating improvements in their certain problems.
“The results of the present study provide no evidence whatsoever that subliminal audiotapes are an effective means for modifying behavior” (Merinkle and Skanes, 1992, p. 775)
For what reason were researchers interested in testing this hypothesis; what do you think was their purpose in doing so? In the analysis of Merikle and Skanes, the researchers pointed out the importance of conducting this study. There had been various researches that emphasize the positive effects of subliminal tapes in achieving a placebo effect among patients.
“Recent studies in which the efficacy of subliminal and placebo audiotapes has been compared are unanimous in showing no advantage for subliminal tapes relative to comparable placebo tapes” (Merinkle and Skanes, 1992, 772).
In their own way of understanding, the authors used such contention to create a standpoint or view that subliminal tapes have no direct relationship in achieving placebo effect contrary to what other researches have been pointing out. Another reason of interest revolves around the notion that the author’s wanted to disprove the notion of many researches conducted by the producers of subliminal tapes towards the aim of achieving a placebo effect among patients. It is through this that they tried and tested their own analysis using data gathering and experimentation techniques.
The authors in the study pointed out that there have been no striking differences in weight loss among the volunteer respondents. Seeing this, the purpose of Merinkle and Skankes is to create awareness among patrons to think again of purchasing these subliminal tapes. This is due to the results presented by the authors and several studies concerning the two concepts relationship. With this, the notion of the impact of subliminal tapes shall be lessened and its credibility is addressed and questioned appropriately.
Briefly state the results After the respondents were tested using various research instruments, the study reported several findings that second the claim made by previous studies that indeed subliminal messages do not facilitate the creation of a placebo effect. Seeing the results, it revolved around the answers posted on postexperiment questionnaires, the loss of weight gained after using the subliminal device and the differences in the practices of their relative vices and problems.
In postexperiment questionnaires, it showed a striking relation between the answers among respondents. It was said that “the answers that the subjects gave on the postexperiment questionnaires indicated that the three groups were roughly equivalent in terms of listening habits and life-style changes during the course of the study” (Merinkle and Skanes, 1992, 774). With regards to the issue surrounding weight loss and differences in practice, the results showcased little changes that can be characterized to be drastic in the analysis.
It was mentioned that “a similar number of subjects in each group reported an increase in the number of times they participated in weekly exercises, and no more than 1 subject across all three groups reported a decrease in weekly exercise, a cessation in the use of tobacco, or a change in the use of oral contraceptives” (Merinkle and Skanes, 1992, 774). How could you apply the results of this study to helping students improve their marks in this (or any other) course?
Applying this paper in the realm of student education, there are lessons that can be exhausted from their analysis. The first important facet that students must learn is to be critical about the information they gain. It is not sufficient for them to absorb information; they must synthesize these issues to create better understanding and personal development. In addition, by thinking critically about issues, students can gain advantage on how properly to address them – through research and testing.
On the other hand, the results also point out that improvement must come from the individual. He/she does not need any instruments that will motivate him/her to pursue such actions. Only with the proper willpower can such issue be addressed appropriately and effectively. Can you think of any way this study could have been improved, or extended? A way this study can be extended is by allowing the time frame of the study to be longer than the usual.
The objective of this is to actually determine in the long run if such subliminal tapes affect the creation of placebo effect. Also, better gauges, results and measurements can be established that can set a better outcome for the study.
Merikle, P. M. and Skanes, H. E. (1992) Subliminal Self-Help Audiotapes: A Search for Placebo Effects in Journal of Applied Psychology. 77 no. 5 Retrieved July 16, 2008. pp. 772-776.