New paper on options for prospective meta-analysis

transparentboxHappy New Year, folks! I hope 2017 brings you health and happiness.

Just a wee news item to let you know that this week Jim Kennedy and I published a short methodological paper about prospective meta-analysis (this grew out of the paper we presented at the 2016 PA/SSE conference in Boulder, Colorado).

A quick summary: We note that the principles of pre-registered well-powered confirmatory research apply for meta-analyses as well as for individual studies.  The outcomes of meta-analyses of parapsychological studies, for example, have been hotly debated. An important contributory factor to such controversy is that the researcher makes many decisions about how to conduct the meta-analysis (e.g., which studies to include or exclude), and these decisions are typically made after the results of the individual studies are known. So typical retrospective meta-analysis resembles exploratory research and allows potential for researcher bias to operate. This delays resolution of scientific controversies. Parapsychology is not alone in this: similar issues occur elsewhere in psychology too. We discuss the pros and cons of three different methods for prospective meta-analysis, and note how study registries can deliver further benefits if they are used to register prospective meta-analyses of pre-registered studies.

Click here to read our full paper.

Watt CA and Kennedy JE (2017) Options for Prospective Meta-Analysis and Introduction of Registration-Based Prospective Meta-Analysis. Front. Psychol. 7:2030. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02030

About Caroline Watt

Prof Caroline Watt is a founder member of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit.
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2 Responses to New paper on options for prospective meta-analysis

  1. Dear Prof. Caroline Watt,

    as a studied Philospher, who wrote “Nietzsche: Der Nihilismus als die innere Logik der Metaphysik” I would be glad, to have the possibility to visit your Institute in the near future.

    With kind regards

    Heinz W. Rutetzki


    • Bevis Beauvais says:

      The suggested protocols offer a cautious but incremental advance in a field considerably more prone to prejudice and uniformed criticism than those sciences that have been allowed to build upon their past findings rather than having to perpetually justify their existence.


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