Meta-analysis is an observational method for summarizing research. It provides a context for quantitatively understanding multiple studies on a topic through synthesis of individual effect sizes and variances observed across studies. Utilizing these effect sizes and variances from numerous studies, meta-analysis calculates an overall estimate of effect for a given phenomenon. For instance, meta-analysis can be used to evaluate the efficacy of behavior therapy on phobias, even if studies on this topic vary greatly in their estimation of influence on outcome. In addition, a meta-analysis provides information on the significance of the effect and precision of the estimate. This entry first looks at types of meta-analysis and how researchers prepare for a meta-analysis and calculate meta-analytic estimates. It then discusses the reporting of meta-analytic results ...
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