Conceptual Issues in Research Synthesis
In its short history meta-analysis has been the object of both high praise and pointed criticism. This paper explores the conceptual bases of the controversy. Meta-analytic and traditional research reviews are compared on 4 dimensions: scientific rigor, detecting small effects, problems of oversimplification, and potential policy impact. It is argued that choice of procedures should be determined by the specific purpose of a review rather than by canon. The author cites the benefits of viewing meta-analysis as a flexible arsenal of quantitative tools rather than a unitary method. Several future goals for the developing science of research synthesis are discussed.
Journal of Special Education
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Pillemer, D.B. (1984). Conceptual issues in research synthesis. Journal of Special Education, 18, 27-40.