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Social psychology fraud

  1. Nov 3, 2011 #1


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    I suggest people start following the following discussion, I predict it will be the biggest detected case of fraud in modern science (that's what the committee has reported who researched the case).


    Currently all this social psychologist publications (who has plead guilty) are under scrutiny, many high profile publications will very likely be retracted.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2011 #2


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    It's looking very bad, apparently his students never did any research at all. He just gave them data and told them to process it and write it up. Also he would never let them see the raw data.
  4. Nov 3, 2011 #3
    In terms of misinformation leading to economical and ecological damage, there may have and may still be larger frauds
  5. Nov 4, 2011 #4


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    The NY Times wrote an article on it:
    Fraud Case Seen as a Red Flag for Psychology Research
    I find it amazing that he got away with it for so many years, something needs to change rigorously in the field:
    Many of the "findings" made the news headlines and were widely discussed, now all turning out to be made up. A motive was the "publish or perish" dilemma, but it must also have included more egoistical motives.
  6. Nov 4, 2011 #5


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    The US is not among the least corrupt countries in the world. Indeed, we are building a solid structure of corruption that extends from school kids to CEOs. It's completely unsurprising that scientists should be just another chip off the old block, particularly since scientists are obviously clever, have a high opinion of themselves and are probably just jealous and competitive as ballet dancers.

    Statistics show that academic cheating among high-school and college students has risen dramatically during the past 50 years. The results of the 29th Who's Who Among American High School Students Poll (of 3,123 high-achieving 16- to 18-year olds – that is, students with A or B averages who plan to attend college after graduation) were released in November, 1998. Among the findings:

    * 80% of the country's best students cheated to get to the top of their class.
    * More than half the students surveyed said that they don't think cheating is a big deal.
    * 95% of cheaters say they were not caught.
    * 40% cheated on a quiz or a test
    * 67% copied someone else's homework


    Respectfully submitted,
  7. Nov 4, 2011 #6


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    Whilst that may be the case there are a few differences that should (and for the most part do in my opinion) make scientists better compared to other professions;

    1) No one becomes a scientist for the money, girls/boys or the lavish lifestyle. It's a hard and inhuman discipline that generally attracts those who want to do good science because they have a natural curiosity and appreciate how much of an asset research is to society.

    2) Uniquely if you are wrong in science you a wrong. It is generally difficult to talk your way out of it. Whilst in other sectors of life you can just lie and cheat if you try that in science ultimately you find yourself arguing with reality who tends to win.

    3) The scientific method is designed to catch cheats and liars. The problem in this case is that for some reason the practices of this guy went unnoticed for so long and he is in a field where verification is difficult compared to "harder" sciences.
  8. Nov 4, 2011 #7

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    Bashing the US is oh so much fun.

    And is irrelevant to this thread. Tilburg University is in the Netherlands. This particular case of scientific fraud has absolutely nothing to do with how corrupt the US is.
  9. Nov 4, 2011 #8
    I think the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Research Integrity does a great job! :biggrin:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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