The process of reviewing and synthesizing data from multiple research investigations with the purpose of identifying patterns, uncovering knowledge gaps, advancing theory, settling disagreement, or guiding policy decisions is the primary function of meta-analysis. Meta-analyses are often referred to as quantitative literature reviews. Before a meta-analysis can be conducted, a thorough search for relevant literature and studies must be completed. A comprehensive search for any or all possible related studies can be a daunting task depending upon the topic under review. As meta-analysis continues to gain traction and garner attention within the social sciences, communication scholars interested in statistical approaches to subject matter must understand all the components of the meta-analysis process. Meta-analysis goes beyond calculating effect sizes and strength of relationships. Meta-analysis ...
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