The Synthesis Problem

This slideshow, from a presentation given at the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) by Michael Scriven and E. Jane Davidson, outlines the the types of synthesis that can be used to reach overall evaluation conclusions. It also examines the issues that may be faced when using each of the different types of synthesis.


Types of synthesis

  • Dimensional synthesis
  • Component synthesis
  • Full synthesis


Why/when to synthesize?

’ Example of full synthesis, using:

  1. Numerical weight & sum
  2. Qualitative weight and sum (QWS)


Scriven, M., & Davidson, E. J. (2000, November). The synthesis problem. American Evaluation Association (AEA) annual meeting, Honolulu HI. Retrieved from

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