There are 2 families of statistical procedures in meta-analysis: fixed- and random-effects procedures. They were developed for somewhat different inference goals: making inferences about the effect parameters in the studies that have been observed versus making inferences about the distribution of effect parameters in a population of studies from a random sample of studies. The authors evaluate the performance of confidence intervals and hypothesis tests when each type of statistical procedure is used for each type of inference and confirm that each procedure is best for making the kind of inference for which it was designed. Conditionally random-effects procedures (a hybrid type) are shown to have properties in between those of fixed- and random-effects procedures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (miscellaneous)