Examining Psychological Science through Systematic Meta-Method Analysis: A Call for Research
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Malte Elson: Ruhr University Bochum
No cj7xf, MetaArXiv from Center for Open Science
Research synthesis is based on the assumption that when the same association between constructs is observed repeatedly in a field, the relationship is probably real, even if its exact magnitude can be debated. Yet this probability is not only a function of recurring results, but also of the quality and consistency in the empirical procedures that produced those results and that any meta-analysis necessarily inherits. Standardized protocols in data collection, analysis, and interpretation are important empirical properties, and a healthy sign of a discipline's maturity. This manuscript proposes that meta-analyses as typically applied in psychology benefit from complementing their aggregates of observed effect sizes by systematically examining the standardization of methodology that deterministically produced them. Potential units of analyses are described and two examples are offered to illustrate the benefits of such efforts. Ideally, this synergetic approach emphasizes the role of methods in advancing theory by improving the quality of meta-analytic inferences.
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