Meta-Analysis (Psychology)

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  • A statistical technique for combining results across a large number of individual studies on a particular topic, with a variety of characteristics, to reach a unified conclusion. The literature on a particular topic often comprises a number of individual studies that produce differing, even contradictory, results. Each individual study is vulnerable, to some degree, to error variance (variance due to factors unidentified in the study) and only provides a rough estimate of the true relationship between variables.

    In a meta-analysis, the researcher endeavors to consider all studies (published or unpublished) that have been conducted on a particular topic, with respect to specific inclusion criteria that the researcher explicitly outlines. Meta-analysis is based on the effect sizes (the strength of the relationship between the variables of interest) ...

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