Defining the Hypothesis Test
DOI link for Defining the Hypothesis Test
Defining the Hypothesis Test book
One could make the case that careful definition of the dependent variable examined in the primary-level studies is the most critical step in the initial stages of a meta-analysis. The dependent variable provides the gauge of the phenomenon that the reviewer is trying to integrate and understand. The dependent variable is generally conceptualized as the effect that results from some specific cause. We often begin with some form of conceptual definition of the behavior of interest. That is, we start off with a general notion of the phenomenon to be scrutinized, a definition of the concept in terms of other concepts. However, in order to move to the data collection stage, the primary-level researcher must develop and implement an operational definition of the behavior of interest. That is, the concept is defined in terms of procedures or operations of measurement. Thus, the primary-level researcher may have an interest in studying the effects of the number of toys a child has on how intelligent he or she becomes. This notion of "intelligence" may begin as a general notion of being able to handle information effectively (conceptual definition). However, before the researcher can move into the data collection phase, this conceptual definition would have to be transformed into measured scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, or some other standardized measurement procedure (operational definition).