Sunday, May 29, 2016

Meta-Analysis and Reproducibility: More from Sara's Week in Psychological Science

Yesterday, I attended a symposium on meta-analysis, which is a set of methods and statistical techniques to combine results of multiple studies. The purpose of a meta-analysis is to determine the true effect of some phenomenon, and also to understand what characteristics of samples, studies, and so on impact study results. I did one of my grad school candidacy exams on meta-analysis, and have a meta-analysis I've been working on and trying to get published.

During yesterday's session, one of the presenters talked about an Open Science Framework project, in which the researchers are trying to reproduce findings from multiple meta-analyses in psychology. The issue is that, as is true with many psychological studies, people often have difficulty reproducing findings from past meta-analyses, in part because of the strong impact of subjective decisions when conducting a meta-analysis. That is, decisions like what types of studies to include, how to divide up data within studies, and the specific analysis technique can be highly subjective and left up to the discretion of the researcher.

This project will involve meta-analyzing 2000 studies. Obviously, they are going to need help, and if you're so inclined, you can volunteer to be part of the project.

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