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Quantitative integration of single-subject studies: Methods and misinterpretations

By Scott H. Kollins, M. Christopher Newland and Thomas S. Critchfield


Derenne and Baron (1999) criticized a quantitative literature review by Kollins, Newland, and Critchfield (1997) and raised several important issues with respect to the integration of single-subject data. In their criticism they argued that the quantitative integration of data across experiments conducted by Kollins et al. is a meta-analysis and, as such, is inappropriate. We reply that Kollins et al. offered behavior analysts a technique for integrating quantitative information in a way that draws from the strengths of behavior analysis. Although the quantitative technique is true to the original spirit of meta-analysis, it bears little resemblance to meta-analyses as currently conducted or defined and offers behavior analysts a potentially useful tool for comparing data from multiple sources. We also argue that other criticisms raised by Derenne and Baron were inaccurate or irrelevant to the original article. Our response highlights two main points: (a) There are meaningful quantitative techniques for examining single-subject data across studies without compromising the integrity of behavior analysis; and (b) the healthiest way to refute or question findings in any viable field of scientific inquiry is through empirical investigation

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