Comparison of Methods for Computation and Cumulation of Effect Sizes in Meta-Analysis

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This study examined the statistical consequences of employing various methods of computing and cumulating effect sizes in meta-analysis. Six methods of computing effect size, and three techniques for combining study outcomes, were compared. Effect size metrics were calculated with one-group and pooled standardizing denominators, corrected for bias and for unreliability of measurement, and weighted by sample size and by sample variance. Cumulating techniques employed as units of analysis the effect size, the study, and an average study effect. In order to determine whether outcomes might vary with the size of the meta-analysis, mean effect sizes were also compared for two ... continued below

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v, 103 leaves : ill.

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Ronco, Sharron L. (Sharron Lee) December 1987.

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  • Ronco, Sharron L. (Sharron Lee)

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This study examined the statistical consequences of employing various methods of computing and cumulating effect sizes in meta-analysis. Six methods of computing effect size, and three techniques for combining study outcomes, were compared. Effect size metrics were calculated with one-group and pooled standardizing denominators, corrected for bias and for unreliability of measurement, and weighted by sample size and by sample variance. Cumulating techniques employed as units of analysis the effect size, the study, and an average study effect. In order to determine whether outcomes might vary with the size of the meta-analysis, mean effect sizes were also compared for two smaller subsets of studies.
An existing meta-analysis of 60 studies examining the effectiveness of computer-based instruction was used as a data base for this investigation. Recomputation of the original study data under the six different effect size formulas showed no significant difference among the metrics. Maintaining the independence of the data by using only one effect size per study, whether a single or averaged effect, produced a higher mean effect size than averaging all effect sizes together, although the difference did not reach statistical significance. The sampling distribution of effect size means approached that of the population of 60 studies for subsets consisting of 40 studies, but not for subsets of 20 studies.
Results of this study indicated that the researcher may choose any of the methods for effect size calculation or cumulation without fear of biasing the outcome of the metaanalysis. If weighted effect sizes are to be used, care must be taken to avoid giving undue influence to studies which may have large sample sizes, but not necessarily be the most meaningful, theoretically representative, or elegantly designed. It is important for the researcher to locate all relevant studies on the topic under investigation, since selective or even random sampling may bias the results of small meta-analyses.

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v, 103 leaves : ill.

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  • Accession or Local Control No: 1002715260-Ronco
  • Library of Congress Control Number: 379 N81d no.2797
  • UNT Catalog No.: b1418299 | External Link
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc331655

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  • December 1987

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • Dec. 14, 2015, 12:51 p.m.

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Ronco, Sharron L. (Sharron Lee). Comparison of Methods for Computation and Cumulation of Effect Sizes in Meta-Analysis, dissertation, December 1987; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331655/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .