Meta-analysis uses statistical techniques to summarize results from different empirical studies on a given topic to learn more about that topic. In other words, meta-analyses bring together the results of many different studies, although the number of studies may be as small as two in some specialized contexts. Because these quantitative reviews are analyses of analyses, they are literally meta-analyses. The practice is also known as research synthesis, a term that more completely encompasses the steps involved in conducting such a review. Meta-analysis might be thought of as an empirical history of research on a particular topic, in that it tracks effects that have accumulated across time and attempts to show how different methods that researchers use may make their effects change in size or ...

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