ZPID Presents New Platform for Meta-Analyses in Psychology

PsychOpen CAMA gives researchers the opportunity to replicate and extend meta-analyses.

"Meta-analyses integrate the findings of individual primary studies and are, as a result assuming they are conducted correctly, more valid than seperate studies. However, meta-analyses can quickly become outdated, especially in current or controversial research areas," says Tanja Burgard, project manager of PsychOpen CAMA. "With our service, researchers can now easily update supporting evidence in an efficient and prompt manner as soon as new findings in an area are available." The web application is clearly stuctured and even users without extensive statistical expertise can easily navigate the data.

All available meta-analyses can be replicated by users by means of a point-and-click application. Correlations between relevant moderator variables can be examined in a flexible and dynamic way. It is possible to calculate meta-regressions or generate forest plots with a single click. Having easy access to the available evidence in a research area is also useful for planning new primary studies, e.g., by considering power estimates. All user queries submitted to the web application are forwarded  to an R server. This is where the analyses are carried out, and the results are transmitted back to the web application.

Currently, 15 datasets from four research areas have been imported into the system:

  • Personality psychology: Dark Triad (gender differences and correlations between the three traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism)
  • Survey methods: conditioning effects and willingness to participate
  • Health psychology: weight stigma and mental health
  • Cognitive development and language acquisition: incorporating five datasets from metalab 

The datasets and codebooks are also available at PsychArchives. To add new evidence to an existing meta-analysis, a meta-analytical dataset can be downloaded from PsychArchives and augmented to include the results of new potentially relevant studies. These suggested additions will be reviewed on a regular basis to allow for timely updates of the meta-analyses.

"Of course, existing meta-analyses can also be added to PsychOpen CAMA. A template for standardizing the data and guidance from the CAMA team will assist users in making their meta-analyses both visible and expandable," says Burgard. "PychOpen CAMA also supports the planning of newly proposed meta-analyses from the outset as well as their stepwise expansion."

"PsychOpen CAMA is a decisive new development of ZPID and part of our strategic roadmap ZPID 2025," says ZPID director Prof. Michael Bosnjak. "It offers a new approach to mapping cumulative evidence in real time, thereby providing the latest findings in all areas of psychology in an easily accessible manner."

PsychOpen CAMA can be accessed at the following website: https://cama.psychopen.eu/.

Additional Information:

  • Demonstration of the system at the 2021 Evidency Synthesis & Meta-Analysis in R (ESMA-R) conference: Video
  • Article on CAMA systems (in English) published in the Zeitschrift f├╝r Psychologie (ZfP): https://doi.org/10.1027/2151-2604/a000431