Violin Plots as Visual Tools in the Meta-Analysis of Single-Case Experimental Designs


  • René Tanious Orcid
  • Rumen Manolov Orcid


Despite the existence of sophisticated statistical methods, systematic reviews regularly indicate that single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) are predominantly analyzed through visual tools. For the quantitative aggregation of results, different meta-analytical techniques are available, but specific visual tools for the meta-analysis of SCEDs are lacking. The present article therefore describes the use of violin plots as visual tools to represent the raw data. We first describe the underlying rationale of violin plots and their main characteristics. We then show how the violin plots can complement the statistics obtained in a quantitative meta-analysis. The main advantages of violin plots as visual tools in meta-analysis are (a) that they preserve information about the raw data from each study, (b) that they have the ability to visually represent data from different designs in one graph, and (c) that they enable the comparison of score distributions from different experimental phases from different studies.