Narrative Versus Meta-Analytic Reviews: A Rejoinder to Graham’s Comment
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We examine Graham’s (1995) concerns about meta-analysis regarding (a) the use of poor-quality studies and (b) an overemphasis on quantitative comparisons of substantively disparate literatures. First, many meta-analysts eschew making questionable global judgments of quality so as to exclude studies on an a priori basis. Instead, they demonstrate their concern for research quality by including methods variables in a search for influences on study outcomes. Further, our meta-analysis (Cooper & Dorr, 1995) demonstrated the independence of decisions about (a) what studies to include in a review and (b) whether to use quantitative synthesis techniques by using the same evidential base Graham used for her narrative review. Second, we agree with Graham that substantively disparate literatures ought not be compared. However, we argue that literatures that might be defined as disparate for one purpose could be comparable for another. Regardless, her concern is irrelevant to our comparison of the two reviewing methods. © 1995, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.3102/00346543065004515
Publication InfoCooper, Harris M; & Dorr, N (1995). Narrative Versus Meta-Analytic Reviews: A Rejoinder to Graham’s Comment. Review of Educational Research, 65(4). pp. 515-517. 10.3102/00346543065004515. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14945.
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Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Harris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is now Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Fou