Other designs

Even the classic A-B-A design (and extensions thereof, such as A-B-A-B, etc.) might be useful in meditation research if one is interested in the stability of meditation effects. What happens if, after having practiced a meditation technique for a month or any other randomly chosen time interval, people cease to meditate? What happens when they begin again? One might also be interested in a dose effect. What happens if meditators change the amount of time they spend on their daily meditation? Would, for instance, a meditation retreat with continually increasing meditation times per day (e.g., A-B2 h-B3 h-B4 h-B5 h- B6 h-A) be more effective than one with an identical overall time but constant daily meditation times (e.g., A-B4 h-B4 h-B4 h-B4 h-B4 h-A)?

In sum, single-case experimental designs are a promising alternative to conventional group designs. But far from being only a substitute for group designs, single-case experimental designs offer much higher flexibility and allow the examination of hypotheses and questions (especially about changes over time) that are not feasible in group designs.

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