About the Department
The Department for Research Synthesis, Intervention, and Evaluation was set up in October 2004 by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) within the research group on "Discrimination and Tolerance in Intergroup Relations." After the end of the funding period, the department will be taken over by the Friedrich-Schiller University and the Psychological Institute. The main subject is the development and systematic evaluation of psychological interventions on the basis of scientific knowledge and empirical findings. Accordingly, its work is divided into three domains: Research Synthesis, Intervention, and Evaluation.
Research synthesis describes the systematic attempt to apply scientific methods and procedures in order to summarize scientific knowledge on a specific issue. Hence, the goal of research syntheses (or alternatively research integrations) is to perform complete assessments of prior research efforts on one topic and fit them into a total unbiased, state-of-the-art picture of all the available knowledge and evidence.
Research syntheses can be applied to many different topics. For example, they can be used to compare rival scientific theories or plot the historical development of scientific studies within one phenomenal domain. Most frequently, they are used to summarize empirical findings on a particular intervention measure. So-called meta-analyses have become a prominent instrument in this context. These apply quantitative methods to a large set of evaluation studies in order to summarize the results of programs and interventions and analyze conditions or moderators of positive and negative effects.
Such summaries or syntheses of research are useful for a number of reasons. Many domains of science and research fields have generated an enormous body of research that even experts are frequently unable to process. As a result, one major application of systematic research syntheses is to deliver a summary estimate of the effectiveness of a program or an intervention measure; to point out gaps or methodological weaknesses in research; and to inform science, practical workers in the field, policymakers, and the discerning general public about the current state of knowledge within the domain under review. Beside developing techniques and methods for summarizing scientific findings, the department is working on numerous research syntheses of concrete issues. One of its main research fields lies in reviewing the empirical evidence on prevention and intervention measures for children and adolescents (e.g., social training programs, parent training programs, psychotherapy).
Department of Research Synthesis,
Intervention and Evaluation
Institute of Psychology
Department of Research Synthesis, Intervention and Evaluation
07743 Jena/ Germany