Harris M. Cooper
  • Harris M. Cooper

  • Hugo L. Blomquist Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
  • Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Phone: (919) 660-5664
  • Fax: 919-660-5726
  • Homepage
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Overview

    Harris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is Hugo L. Blomquist professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Founda­tion in New York City.

    Dr. Cooper's research interests follow two paths. The first concerns research synthesis and research methodology. His book, Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-by-Step Approach (2016) is in its 5th edition. He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Research Synthe­sis and Meta-Analysis (2nd ed., 2009). Dr. Cooper and his students have published over 30 research syntheses, many of which appeared in varied prestigious journals including Psychologi­cal Bulletin, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Marketing Research and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. They have published over 40 articles on how to conduct research synthesis and meta-analysis. His most recent contributions focus on two “extremes” of synthesis methodology: integrating data from individual participant in different studies and integrating the results of different but related research reviews. In 2007, Dr. Cooper was the recipient of the Frederick Mosteller Award for Contributions to Research Synthesis Methodology given by the International Campbell Collaboration. In 2008, he received the Ingram Olkin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Research Synthesis from the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology.

    Dr. Cooper is Editor-in-Chief of the American Psychological Association Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology (2012). The Handbook includes over 100 chapters on various aspects of research design and analysis. He chaired the APA committee that developed guidelines for information about research that should be included in manuscripts submitted to APA journals. In 2011, he published a book on the topic, titled Reporting Research in Psychology: How to Meet the New Standards for Journal Articles.

    Dr. Cooper also studies the application of social and developmental psychology to education policy. In particular, he studies the relationship between time and learning. Most people think about how time relates to learning in terms of time in school (class time, instructional time, time-on task). Dr. Cooper’s work zooms out from the school day rather than in. He focuses on issues related to (a) the school day and school calendar and (b) academic-related contexts children find themselves when school is not in session.

    Dr. Cooper has studied homework for over 25 years. His synthesis of homework research received the 2007 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. It also provided the evidence base for his guide to policy and practice, titled The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents (3rd edition, 2007). His research on homework has had an impact on schools nationwide. In addition to working directly with parents, schools and school districts, his work has been highlighted frequently in national media. He has been a guest on NBC Dateline, CBS This Morning, ABC Nightly News and Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Nickelodeon Nick News, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. On radio, he has appeared on The Larry King Show, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Now Hear This, and the Mitch Ablom Show. Coverage of his work has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Readers´ Digest, the New Yorker and USA Today Weekend, as well as every major metropolitan newspaper. More specialized publications also have provided coverage of his work, including Parents, Parenting, and Child magazines, NEA Today, and The American Teacher.

    Dr. Cooper and his students also study the impact of school calendars and calendar variations on students and their families. Their research syntheses on summer learning loss and modified school calendars were published in Review of Educational Research. In 2000, their monograph titled Making the Most of Summer School was published by the Society for Research on Child Development. This monograph reported a synthesis of over 90 evaluations of the effectiveness of summer school. Dr. Cooper and his students recently completed syntheses of research on the effects of full-day kindergarten and extending the school year and the school day (both published in Review of Educational Research, 2010).

    From 1992 to 1998, Dr. Cooper served as an elected member of the Columbia, MO, Board of Education, at that time a school district with a $100 million budget serving 16,000 students. In 1997, he won the American Educational Research Association’s Award for Interpretive Scholarship for his article “Speaking Power to Truth: Reflections of an Educational Researcher after Four Years of School Board Service.” Dr. Cooper served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Use of Social Science Knowledge in Public Policy (2007-2012).

    Dr. Cooper served as editor for the Psychological Bulletin from 2003 through mid-2009. Psychological Bulletin is in the top 5 social science journals in total citations and impact factor. He was the Chair of the APA Council of Editors in 2006 and was a member of the committee that revised the APA Publication Manual (2010). In 2012, Dr. Cooper became the inaugural co-editor of the Archives of Scientific Psychology, APA’s first open methods, collaborative data sharing, open access journal. He remained as editor until 2015.

    From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Cooper served as the Chief Editorial Advisor for the APA’s journal publishing program. In this role, he serves as a resource to the editors of APA’s 70+ journals as well as the mediator of disputes between editors and authors and between authors and authors. Dr. Cooper’s latest book (2016), Making Ethical Choices in Research: Managing Data, Writing Reports, and Publishing Results in the Social Sciences, draws from the experience. The book goes beyond the proper treatment of human research subjects to examine frequently neglected ethical issues that arise after data has been collected. He teaches students and researchers about important ethical considerations related to: collecting, managing, and interpreting study data; assigning research responsibilities and authorships to team members; preparing and publishing research reports; and interacting with the media and the scientific community after publication.

    Dr. Cooper served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University from 2009 to2014. This academic unit has 40 primary faculty members, over 50 allied and secondary faculty members, and 20 non-regular faculty members. Annually, it trains over 70 graduate students, 350 psychology and 175 neuroscience majors. He also served as Chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri and Director of Duke University’s Program in Education.

  • Specialties

    • Social Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology
  • Areas of Interest

    Meta-Analysis
    Research Methods
    Social Psychology
    Developmental Psychology
    Education
  • Education

      • Social Psychology,
      • ,
      • 1976
      • PhD Social Psychology,
      • University of Connecticut,
      • 1976
      • Ph.D.,
      • University of Connecticut,
      • 1975
      • M.A.,
      • University of Connecticut,
      • 1974
      • B.A.,
      • State University of New York at Stony Brook,
      • 1972
      • BA Psychology and Sociology,
      • SUNY at Stony Brook,
      • 1972
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • Ingram Olkin Lifetime Achievement Award,
      • International Campbell Collaboration,
      • February, 2008
      • AERA Fellows,
      • American Educational Research Association,
      • 0 2008
      • Outstanding Research Review of 2006,
      • American Educational Research Association, for "Does Homework Improve Avcademic Achievement?: A Synthesis of Research",
      • April, 2007
      • Frederick Mosteller Award for Lifetime Contribution to Research Synthesis,
      • International Campbell Collaboraton, for lifetime contribution to the development of research synthesis methodology,
      • February, 2007
      • Review of Research Award,
      • American Educational Research Association,
      • 0 2007
      • Interpretive Scholarship Award,
      • American Educational Research Association,
      • 0 1997
      • Relating Research to Practice Award,
      • American Educational Research Association,
      • 0 1997
      • Gold Chalk Award,
      • Excellence in Graduate Education, University of Missouri-Columbia,
      • 0 1992
      • Raymond B. Cattell Early Career Award for Programmatic Research,
      • AERA,
      • 0 1984
      • National Research Service Award,
      • ADAMHA,
      • 0 1975
  • Selected Publications

      • H. Cooper.
      • 2012.
      • Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology.
      • Washington DC:
      • American Psychological Association.
      • H Cooper and AC Koenka.
      • 2012.
      • Unique challenges and opportunities when research syntheses are the principal elements of new integrative scholarship.
      • American Psychologist
      • 67:
      • 446-462
      • .
      Publication Description

      In the past two decades, a new form of scholarship has appeared in which researchers present an overview of previously conducted research syntheses on the same topic. In these efforts, research syntheses are the principal units of evidence. Overviews of reviews introduce unique problems that require unique solutions. This article describes what methods overviewers have developed or have adopted from other forms of scholarship. These methods concern how to (a) define the broader problem space of an overview, (b) conduct literature searches that specifically look for research syntheses, (c) address the overlap in evidence in related reviews, (d) evaluate the quality of both primary research and research syntheses, (e) integrate the outcomes of research syntheses, especially when they produce discordant results, (f) conduct a second-order meta-analysis, and (g) present findings. The limitations of overviews are also discussed, especially with regard to the age of the included evidence. © 2012 American Psychological Association.

      • H Cooper.
      • 2010.
      • Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis A Step-by-Step Approach.
      • Thousand Oaks, CA:
      • SAGE.
      • 269 pages p.
      Publication Description

      Providing researchers with a practical and accessible advice, the Fourth Edition of the lauded Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis offers thoroughly updated information.

      • H Cooper, LV Hedges and JC Valentine.
      • 2009.
      • The Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis.
      • Russell Sage Foundation.
      • 632 pages p.
      Publication Description

      This volume is a good beginning for those who wish to gain that understanding.” —Chance “Meta-analysis, as the statistical analysis of a large collection of results from individual studies is called, has now achieved a status of ...

      • HM Cooper and EA Patall.
      • 2009.
      • The relative benefits of meta-analysis using individual participant data and aggregate data.
      • Psychological Method
      • 14:
      • 165-176
      • .
      Publication Description

      The authors describe the relative benefits of conducting meta-analyses with (a) individual participant data (IPD) gathered from the constituent studies and (b) aggregated data (AD), or the group-level statistics (in particular, effect sizes) that appear in reports of a study's results. Given that both IPD and AD are equally available, meta-analysis of IPD is superior to meta-analysis of AD. IPD meta-analysis permits synthesists to perform subgroup analyses not conducted by the original collectors of the data, to check the data and analyses in the original studies, to add new information to the data sets, and to use different statistical methods. However, the cost of IPD meta-analysis and the lack of available IPD data sets suggest that the best strategy currently available is to use both approaches in a complementary fashion such that the first step in conducting an IPD meta-analysis would be to conduct an AD meta-analysis. Regardless of whether a meta-analysis is conducted with IPD or AD, synthesists must remain vigilant in how they interpret their results. They must avoid ecological fallacies, Simpson's paradox, and interpretation of synthesis-generated evidence as supporting causal inferences. © 2009 American Psychological Association.

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  • Postdoctoral Students

    • Carmen Sanchez
      • January 01, 2013 - present
    • Saiying Wu-Steenbergen
      • 2010
  • PhD Students

    • Alison Koenka
  • Teaching

    • PSYC 769
      • RESEARCH SYNTHESIS & META-ANALYSIS
    • PSY 301
      • RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
    • PSY 718
      • RESEARCH DESIGN