Meta analysis is a statistical analysis that consists of huge collections of outcomes for the purpose of integrating the findings. The idea behind conducting Meta analysis is to help the researcher by providing certain methodological literature that the researcher wants to obtain from the experimental research. Measures of effect size are gathered from existing, previously conducted studies and examined to obtain an overall effect in the subject of study.
Meta analysis allows the researcher to allocate the subjectivity in the reviews, instead of allocating true objectivity. It can be efficiently conducted by the researcher by using computer databases like MS Access, and statistical software like DSTAT, SAS, etc.
There is a quantitative literature review that consists of articles that contain the effects that are investigated by the researcher under different cases. This furthers the overall strength described by the researcher by using Meta analysis. With the help of Meta analysis, the researcher can easily identify that situation in which the effect would be stronger and the situation in which the effect would be weaker.
Today, it has become quite popular and therefore it has been used in certain research papers. The overall strength or consistency that exists in a relationship can be known by the researcher by carrying out the procedure of Meta analysis.
There are certain databases that are used by psychologists, finance researchers, and health researchers to perform the procedure of Meta analysis. They are as follows:
- ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)
- Mental Health abstracts
- Sociological abstracts
- On-line dissertation abstracts
- PsycLit / PsycInfo
- ABI / Inform
There are certain steps that can help in understanding the procedure of conducting Meta analysis:
- The first step involves the definition of the theoretical relationship of interest by the researcher.
- The second step involves the collection of the population studies that will in-turn provide the researcher with the data on relationships needed to conduct the study.
- In the third step, the researcher performs the coding of the studies’ related variables and also computes the effect sizes.
- In the fourth step, the researcher examines the distribution of the effective size. In this step of, the researcher also analyzes the effect of the moderating variables.
- The last step involves the interpretation and the reporting of the results.