Case of Massive Scientific Fraud

A widely published and highly respected social psychologist is being investigated for fabricating data.

The results of over a hundred research papers published across three institutions are in question as investigators examine the work of Diederik Stapel, one of the Netherlands’ rising stars of social psychology. “People are in shock,” Gerben van Kleef, a social psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, toldScienceInsider. “Everybody wonders how this could have happened and at this proportion.”

After conducting interviews with dozens of Stapel’s students and collaborators, the committee found that Stapel would discuss experiments he claimed he had done earlier or via a network of collaborators, but no experiments were ever actually conducted. Stapel would ask his students or collaborators to analyze reams of data that he had simply fabricated.

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