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Re: Telepathy/Parapsychology etc. and Meta-Analysis

 Don Doff wrote:
 > I believe it is possible to evaluate how meaningful the conclusions of
 > a regular double blind study are by examining methodology.  Is it not
 > also possible to evaluate meta analyses in a some similar manner, so
 > as to determine whether conclusions are meaningful, that would
 > compensate for very understandable biases in experimental methodology
 > by researchers desiring their studies yield positive findings for
 > reasons of continued tenure, funding, status in their field, etc?
 Yes, it is possible to evaluate meta-analysis and give a realistic appraisal of its 
 value, but almost no-one ever does. It's very time-consuming and brain-straining to go 
 through, say, six different studies, all with different methodologies and different 
 analytical techniques, and then squeeze them into a meta-analysis. It's a hard enough 
 job when you're doind your meta-analysis. No-one is keen on repeating the procedure just 
 to evaluate the study (you're not likely to get your name on a paper because of it, and 
 it's a LOT of work).
 The other problem is that many in the medical field are not au fait with statistics, and 
 soon as they see a large sample size and a decent statistical significance figure, they 
 assume the study is a good one. The original researchers may know their stuff, but most 
 medicos (who are the largest recipients of meta-analysis studies) do not more than the 
  Chris Lawson