Learning to do a meta-analysis

My last post about what a meta-analysis is, was partially because I decided to learn how to do a meta-analysis. I decided that while I was walking home last Friday and I realized I could have more than one blog. I quickly came up with a fantastic name for a new blog that had something to do with meta-analyses and then promptly forgot about it. I don't know if I'll start a whole new blog to discuss my process of learning about and/or carrying out a meta-analysis but I figured I would start blogging here.

I have a tendency to want to learn about new statistical techniques without then using them to do anything. I think I have to agree that actually using (or thinking about using) a new technique is much more useful in the end. Kind of like you may not think that doing example problems will help you understand a concept but (at least when going through some of the meta-analysis material I've been looking at) it can be really helpful. I have decided that the question I am going to plan / actually pursue is transactive memory's role on performance and turnover's role as a moderator. Not only is this an area I am interested in so I have a lot of understanding already, but there are not any meta-analyses I know of looking at this topic. DeChurch and Mesmer-Magnus did a meta-analysis in 2010 about team cognition which encompassed TMS but I think that a more narrow approach may be enlightening.

I am basing my current exploration on of the article I mentioned in my last post "How to do a meta-analysis". The accompanying website for the article is not super easy to find but is here: resource page. The first author's website, Discovering Statistics (aka Statistics Hell) seems to have a lot of good resources as well. The researchers who wrote the article, also wrote several scripts that can be used in SPSS and R (two statistical packages, the second is free). The webpage doesn't describe the process of preparing the data (you'll want to read the paper or this short article for that) but it does provide some example data for you already. The authors claim this data is (or is based on) published articles, so I'm guessing that I should be able to replicate the work those researchers did.

If I continue this exploration further, I'll keep you all in the loop.