The research question in this article was whether subliminal weight loss tapes have a placebo effect.
A research question describes what a research project is trying to find. The hypothesis is the possible answer to that question, or what researchers think they will find.
The placebo effect is the idea that just getting treatment makes a patient feel better. In this case, the question was if listening to a weight loss tape would make you lose weight, or if in fact if listening to a placebo tape had an effect.
In this study, three groups were used. One group had no tape. One group had a subliminal weight loss tape. One group had a placebo test. All three groups lost comparable amounts of weight. This, the hypothesis and research question were not proven true. The study determined all participants lost weight because they all knew they were in a weight loss study and were more conscious of what they ate. Since the group with no tapes also lost weight, the tapes did not have an effect.