Moeyaert Honored with Dissertation Award

Albany, NY (January 25, 2016) – Dr. Mariola Moeyaert, Educational and Counseling Psychology, received the 2016 Anastasi Dissertation Award from Division 5 of the American Psychological Association for her dissertation, “Three-level synthesis of single-subject experimental data: Further developments, empirical validation and applications.”

Dr. Mariola Moeyaert
The award recognizes a recent dissertation that addresses a topic in quantitative research methods. Dr. Moeyaert will be presented with the award at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in August.

In many fields of research, large samples are difficult to gather or intensive observations are made of individuals (for example, in medicine, school effectiveness, behavior modification, school psychology, and special education). In these fields, single-subject experimental design studies have yielded powerful and well respected insights. In a typical study, there may be several individuals, and several different measurements or observations are made of each individual. There is a growing interest in summarizing single-subject experimental design studies as a means to establish an evidence base for the effectiveness of treatment effects. The synthesis of the studies can inform research, practice, and policy, and important decisions can be made based on results combined across studies. However, the uniqueness of “single subjects” make these studies particularly difficult to combine to look for larger trends and more generalizable conclusions. It would be a great loss of information if these studies were excluded from research synthesis and meta-analysis, but it is difficult to interpret differences among studies when there are also differences among individual cases within studies, and even among multiple observations of each individual case within a study.

Dr. Moeyaert investigated a framework that could statistically analyze differences that appear in each level of single-subject experimental design studies: differences among studies, among individual cases within studies, and among observations within cases. This multilevel approach allows researchers to estimate the effects of a treatment across studies and, within studies, across individual cases or across observations. In the first part of her dissertation, Dr. Moeyaert tested and validated her methodological innovations using extensive, computer-intensive simulation studies. The second part of her dissertation applied these methodological innovations to real datasets to illustrate how they could be used in increasingly complex ways. These practical applications guide single-subject researchers in setting up single-case experimental design studies, doing the analysis, and interpreting and reporting their results. This work should make significant contributions to single-case research, to policy-makers and reviewers who seek trends across multiple studies, and to research methodologists interested in meta-analysis and single-subject experimental designs.

Dr. Moeyaert joined the faculty of the Division of Educational Psychology and Methodology in the fall of 2015. Read her bio.

Read the University Press Release.