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Dutch Psychologist Faked Data In At Least 30 Scientific Papers

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-it-first-you-don't-succeed-make-it-up dept.

Idle 254

Attila Dimedici writes "A professor at Tilburg University has been caught using fake data in over 30 scientific papers. Diederik Stapel's latest paper claimed that eating meat made people anti-social and selfish. Other academics were skeptical of his findings and raised doubts about his research. Upon investigation it was discovered that he had invented the data he used in many of his papers and there is a question as to whether or not he used faked data in all of his published work."

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254 comments

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920114)

No wonder people were suspicious. I don't know anyone who became anto-social after eating meat.

Re:Obviously (3, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920224)

Guessing he's a vegan with an agenda. Probably make a good study case for a paper on meatless diets increasing bad decision making.

I mean really, they already made the huge mistake of giving up tasty animal flesh, someone should study what other bad decisions vegans make.

Re:Obviously (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920396)

Guessing he's a vegan with an agenda. Probably make a good study case for a paper on meatless diets increasing bad decision making.

I mean really, they already made the huge mistake of giving up tasty animal flesh, someone should study what other bad decisions vegans make.

Well, eating too much meat can constipate you. Then you go off to the john and spend a lot of time in there, which makes people think you don't want to spend time with them.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920450)

Maybe so, but everyone knows You don't win friends with salad.

Re:Obviously (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920934)

And eating lots of greens causes buildup of gas, something that might impact on your social skills!

Re:Obviously (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921044)

Well, eating too much protein can constipate you.

FTFY

Re:Obviously (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920886)

Guessing he's a vegan with an agenda. Probably make a good study case for a paper on meatless diets increasing bad decision making.

I mean really, they already made the huge mistake of giving up tasty animal flesh, someone should study what other bad decisions vegans make.

Hey, let them eat grass and hug trees. We don't want to cause a meat shortage, do we?

Re:Obviously (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920380)

No wonder people were suspicious. I don't know anyone who became anto-social after eating meat.

Perhaps it embiggened some gland which released some hormone into the blood. It's a perfectly cromulent theory.

Re:Obviously (2)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920700)

Observations done on apes ( specially on chimps) showed extra cooperation and leveling of the hierarchical order when the animals were hunting/eating meat. If anything meat should make you more sociable. Seeing how much we resemble them, I would be sceptical about these results as well.

Re:Obviously (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921254)

Yes we have all these social events centered around eating meat.
BBQ, Hawian Luau, Thanks Giving... Meat is something we like to eat and share with others.

If eating meat was anti-social then these traditions probably wouldn't last threw the generations.

This has happened before. (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920120)

Yep none of his data can be trusted now. What a shame.

Re:This has happened before. (-1, Troll)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920644)

Surely, all of psychology is invalidated by one researcher faking his data. Psychology is clearly bunk. Next!

Re:This has happened before. (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920740)

Yep none of his data can be trusted now. What a shame.

Surely, all of psychology is invalidated by one researcher faking his data. Psychology is clearly bunk. Next!

I think you missed the word "his". EvilBudMan didn't say that all of psychology was invalidated, just the work of one man. Try to read next time.

Re:This has happened before. (2)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921066)

"A top social scientist, Diederik Stapel, of Tilburg University, has been suspended after an investigation showed that he’s been fabricating his data for years"

In what other field can you publish made-up crap and become a top scientist? You might be able to get away with it in some fields for a few years as an unknown, but psychology is a field where papers are not making repeatable, scientific predictions.

Re:This has happened before. (2)

Filip22012005 (852281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921124)

Psychology is rather broad. The committee that evaluatued Stapel's fraud did conclude that the science system failed for social psychology. In particular that research in social psychology is almost never replicated.

Re:This has happened before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920810)

Maybe he was going full meta to disprove the validity of psychology as science?

Re:This has happened before. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921344)

Yes it is. The fact that his data cannot be trusted is a a shame is true. Because he may have a lot of real good and honest data. But because he has lied and made up some data means we need to go out and retake more data.

The scientific community shouldn't be apologetic to this type of behavior. They really need to crack down on this type of stuff. because it gives science a bad name. When a "Scientist" makes a "bold discovery" using made up data, is the reason why people don't trust science as much as they should, because there is too much lets make a political point "Science" going on.

dutch niggerist fakes fucketyfuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920132)

duck my sick

Re:dutch niggerist fakes fucketyfuck (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920844)

duck my sick

I'm not sure that is what he had in mind when he said "eating meat". Then again, he is Dutch...

But, but, but (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920140)

Why would all those other scientists do something that would threaten their grant money, when they could instead expand on his bullshit studies for pay? Anthony Watts, please explain!

Re:But, but, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920190)

Because he's not in charge of the peer review process for an entire area of science.

Re:But, but, but (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920296)

So who is the King of Climatology who corruptly wields his power? Al Gore?

Re:But, but, but (2, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920422)

They don't get their grant money from vegan societies, nor are the upper echelons of the Western mental health complex infested with militant vegans who refuse to accept that eating meat can be anything but evil and destructive to all of society.

Re:But, but, but (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920492)

Hmm so they're all in on some kind of global conspiracy you say...interesting point.

Re:But, but, but (0)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920550)

No, I said the opposite of that. You have poor reading comprehension. Perhaps these guys [sylvanlearning.com] can help?

Re:But, but, but (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920610)

My reading comprehension's OK, your understanding of sarcasm may be off.

Re:But, but, but (0)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920638)

Check your sarcasm detector. The guy was joking...

Re:But, but, but (1, Offtopic)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920816)

Can we please for the love of God and the Internet (With both all things are made possible.) have a real internet standard SarcMark?
How can we live with ourselves?
Thousands of innocent stupid people and those who can not take the time to comprehend before posting are being ridiculed every day.
I think instead of what all the others are saying, Just so it is not missed, We should bring back in all forums, blogs and comments ....

The Blink Tag

*Ducks*

Re:But, but, but (0)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920878)

There is one, it just needs better advertisement.

www.sarcmark.com

Re:But, but, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37921160)

Yeah, put the Vegans in the woods in the middle of the winter and see how fast they'll start eating squirrels.

Re:But, but, but (2)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921326)

If a vegetarian eats vegetables. What does a humanitarian eat?

Re:But, but, but (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920624)

I would recommend that instead of spouting this ignorance proving drivel, that you spend some of your time learning how most grant systems work.

I'll give you a hint, other scientists' grant money would not be threatened by blowing the lid off someone who is abusing the system. In fact, since that person would be excluded from future grants, the other scientists would be more likely to aquire grants in the future if they DID expose frauds.

-Rick

Re:But, but, but (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920654)

Oh dear, I think I invoked Poe's law...

Re:But, but, but (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921294)

Don't worry about it. Happens to me all the time. I'm told it is due to me deadpan delivery. Perhaps I should carry around a rimshot [android.com] noise so every time I make a joke I can append a Ba - Dum - Da.

Clearly (3, Funny)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920178)

If we look to the teachings of Freud he did all this to bone his mother. Clearly.

I have looked into this myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920180)

and would suggest that there is a 67.5% chance that the numbers he cites are unsupported.

Plastic Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920184)

Obligatory link to Plastic Fantastic [amazon.com] .

How did they catch him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920196)

The Reuters article doesn't say how he was caught. Does anybody know?

Re:How did they catch him? (2)

tulcod (1056476) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920454)

Among other peculiarities, his research results made sense.

Definition (0)

JamesonLewis3rd (1035172) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920204)

Anto-socialism = Wherein ants rule the world.

Re:Definition (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920508)

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

anto-social (0)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920210)

Maybe I'm being pedantic, but really? anto-social? Could you at least run the submissions through a spell check?

Re:anto-social (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920332)

They faked the spell check too.

Re:anto-social (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920504)

My dyslexia kicked in and I read it as auto-social. Spent several seconds trying to figure out what that meant.

Re:anto-social (1)

ddxexex (1664191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920562)

Clearly, Slashdot must be working on some psychological study on the psychological effects of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors on members a tech-oriented website community. Unfortunately, it seems that the researcher for this Slashdot study was not the one in the summary, so these grammar mistakes will still happen until we find the researcher and convince him to finish his study already.

Published in Science (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920214)

I think the worst thing about this is that he was published in Science. Obviously the researcher's career ends here, but this is a big black mark on the journal as well.

Re:Published in Science (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920578)

It's the journal's own fault - they chose to publish *psychology* papers.

Science is about provable results. Psychology, not so much.

Re:Published in Science (5, Informative)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920600)

Not really. The peer review process isn't about catching fabricated data, but about editorial quality. It may not be obvious that the two are different, but they are.

Reviewers make sure that the experiment is described clearly and completely enough for it to be replicated, which is the best way to verify the dates authenticity/accuracy. They also strive to make sure that the methodology was sound, conclusions don't over reach what the data can support, and that the discussion was complete with regards to the pre-existing relevant literature. Those checks can find fabricated data, but aren't designed to necessarily.

Journals have no way to verify that you ran a trial, never mind that the data wasn't massaged or flat out replaced with fabricated data. That part is just taken on faith because it is the authors reputation that is on the line.

Re:Published in Science (1, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921296)

I think the worst thing it that they are publishing psychology papers in Science. Aside from the most fundamental stimulus/response experiments (done decades ago) psychology depends on highly subjective observations and statistics that prove correlations but nothing about the underlying causations. It certainly doesn't lead to repeatable experiments.

    A bigger mystery is how could tell the difference between a faked paper and a real one. They have about the same basis in fact.

Brett

Followed his own study (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920298)

Maybe if he hadn't eaten meat, he wouldn't have been so selfish as to fake data.

Kill him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920300)

Scientific fraud has to be one of the greatest evils, if not the greatest, of the modern age. Send him to the gas chamber.

All in the name of science (3, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920306)

Sounds like it was all just one big meta-study--now that he's got thirty fake papers to use as data he can write a paper on the psychological factors involved in publishing fake papers. Could be an interesting treatise on the nature of trust, the peer review process, ulterior motives and such, but it's too bad because everyone would dismiss it as fake.

Re:All in the name of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920354)

Can we please stop calling psychology science?

Re:All in the name of science (-1, Offtopic)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920498)

Only if members of the field don't follow the scientific method while conducting their research.

For example, if they had started castigating anyone who disagreed with these studies, or thought the methods were problematic, or that the data was an outright fraud "deniers", and then conspired to deny publication to anyone who didn't accept the results of the study as "The Truth (tm)", then you could say that the field is not a science.

Re:All in the name of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920772)

Wow someone is still pretty butthurt that their pet denialist theory was once again shown to be wrong. And this time by a study from an outspoken skeptic. I guess I can't blame you. I'd be pretty butthurt to be wrong so often, too.

Re:All in the name of science (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921026)

OMG!
I see what you did there!
LOOK everyone it a GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER!
Trying to sneak logic in the back door of this debate is, is, is ... mean spirited and Anit-Social.
You meat eating, climate change denier!

Re:All in the name of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37921224)

Hey look another butthurt denialist that can't accept reality. At least when you guys fully denied that climate change was even happening you were less pathetic than this shifting goalposts stance you guys take now when you can no longer deny it outright.

Re:All in the name of science (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920588)

Can we please stop calling psychology science?

It's more a science than the observational sciences.

Re:All in the name of science (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921116)

Indeed. "The only possible conclusion the social sciences can draw is: some do, some don't." -- Ernest Rutherford

Sokal Affair (5, Informative)

paugq (443696) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920344)

Obligatory reference to the Sokal Affair [wikipedia.org] .

The Sokal affair, also known as the Sokal hoax,[1] was a publishing hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. The submission was an experiment to test the publication's intellectual rigor and, specifically, to learn if such a journal would "publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if it (a) sounded good and (b) flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions."

Re:Sokal Affair (0, Troll)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920372)

Which has absolutely nothing in common with the this so why is it obligatory?

Re:Sokal Affair (0)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920574)

I think he is implying that the articles of Diederik Stapel (a) sounded good and (b) flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions

Re:Sokal Affair (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921278)

But it's completely different.

One is an obviously ludicrous paper that anyone looking at objectively would dismiss.

The other is reasonable papers for which the raw data they are based on was fabricated.

The peer review process should reject the former, but not the later. The later will be found out when others take those papers and attempt to confirm them with their own work.

Sokal was showing that the journal in question was garbage in terms of what they would publish. This says almost nothing about the journals since (and I admit I haven't read them I'm going on the article) the papers were fine other than that minor point about the data they were based on being made up.

Re:Sokal Affair (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920426)

Whenever people attack bullshit publications -- or more often, only perceived bullshit, lacking training in the field and just making a kneejerk reaction against the humanities -- they make reference to the Sokal affair. However, it's important to note that Social Text was not a peer-reviewed journal. In fact, it was a fairly obscure publication even within its field.

What makes this news troubling is that the researcher succeeded in being published in Science which was supposed to have a rigorous and effective peer-review process.

Re:Sokal Affair (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920632)

It happened in other fields too. The troubling here is not that Its Highness Holy Tandem of Science Magazine and Nature Magazine faulted. The trouble is that we trust based on the word of the mouth.

The trust ends at the point where you consider reading the article or not. I trust Science, so I will start reading the paper. But once I started reading, it does not matter where it is published, in Science or in Journal of Theoretical Biology, I will apply the same BS detector (I do not have a special BS detector for each scientific journal, they are costly).

Re:Sokal Affair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920788)

Well, peer-review doesn't help much if your peers are dimwits. Remember that until quite recently psychology used to be founded on the "work" of Sigmund Freud for decades, even though he made almost everything up out of whole cloth. Many psychologists don't understand the scientific method, or don't understand why it's important, and those that do often don't understand enough mathematics to get their statistics right. Maybe psychology could be a science, but most psychologists certainly aren't scientists.

Re:Sokal Affair (1, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920894)

What makes this news troubling is that the researcher succeeded in being published in Science which was supposed to have a rigorous and effective peer-review process

Not really. The peer review process isn't set out to look for fraud. It is set out to look for bad data, poor experimental setups, poor interpretation of experiments, etc. The system assumes that the submitters are acting in good fatih. And this is a pretty good assumption: the vast majority of the time they are. The occasions where a problem occurs are few and far between. It would be a massive waste of resources and exhausting for all involved for peer review to try to actively look for signs of fraud.

Re:Sokal Affair (1, Informative)

DrFalkyn (102068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920896)

What makes this news troubling is that the researcher succeeded in being published in Science which was supposed to have a rigorous and effective peer-review process.

Peer review can't detect faked data, only bogus methodology.

Re:Sokal Affair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920512)

As far as obligatory references go I was thinking more like this one. [xkcd.com]

Re:Sokal Affair (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921104)

Don't forget the repeated success of SciGen [mit.edu] , an automatic computer science BS generator.

Bummary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920390)

- There is no paper, only a press release.
  - That press release was related to research by Roos Vonk, not Diederik Stapel (although she did use his made-up data).
  - Said research claimed correlation, not causation.

I can see how this came from the 'if-it[sic]-first-you-don't-succeed-make-it-up' dept...

Da Data (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920394)

Makes him a good candidate for working eith the IPCC on global warming though !

Heavily cited too (1)

JadedIdealist (2057592) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920448)

Even philosophers have been citing this work (eg Jesse Prinz), this is fracking huge. Somehow big journals need to start publishing replications of published work electronically and linking the original (in electronic form) to the attempted replications - and end the "We're too important to publish replications" nonsense. Peer review can only spot bad methods, and citations only really track relevance to what the citee is doing, There needs to be a quick an easy way to track replication - rather than trawling through minor journals that might have published a replication attempt. The topics of these papers were really important and the guy has single handedly fucked over sociology just when it really needs funding and support.

Re:Heavily cited too (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921036)

My question is, how many PhD's were given based in part on Thesis papers that included this fraud as supporting evidence of whatever conclusion the thesis gave.

The fraud has wider implications than just the journals and resulting conclusions that have been passed around as "truth"; we have no ability to revoke the PhD's that are fraudulent as a result.

Re:Heavily cited too (1)

Filip22012005 (852281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921194)

The committee evaluating Stapel's fraud has concluded that the PhD candidates had no knowledge of the fraud. They recommend to not revoke any titles and possibly have the university provide them with a letter stating they are innocent of any allegations.

The PhD-title as a mark of hard work is not invalid. The PhD-title as a mark of contribution to science probably is.

Meat and caveman psych (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920468)

IANAP, but my off the cuff thinking tells me that eating berries makes one selfish and antisocial. Spend a lot of time off on your own, picking berries, "two for me, one for the group, two for me, one for the group", whereas hunting is oft times a social experience, and the sharing of the kill is a party-level event.

Re:Meat and caveman psych (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920640)

Why couldn't berry pickers pick in groups (cover a lot more area that way) which would turn it into a social experience and cut down on "two for me, one for the group"?

Re:Meat and caveman psych (2)

crakbone (860662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920828)

Obviously you have never picked berries. They are just way to yummy to let anyone near you.

Re:Meat and caveman psych (0)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921158)

Actually, I have. I love going strawberry picking with my boys. (Apple picking too, but those aren't berries.) One of the best parts of the activity is when one of us spots an area with a lot of good berries and calls the others over.

Psychology is not a science. (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920532)

They aren't scientific papers to start with, so what difference does it make...

And (2)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920682)

> Diederik Stapel's latest paper claimed that eating meat made people anto-social and selfish.

And eating shellfish makes you ...

Re:And (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920984)

bulish

Re:And (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921008)

Anto-pasta?

Re:And (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921128)

And eating shellfish makes you ...

... goyim?

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37921272)

~Neat.

DSM-IV For the win against the constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920752)

Another fake science, to take away more Constitutional rights.

Psychology is a science. (5, Insightful)

schwnj (990042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920820)

Every time a story appears that involves psychological research, numerous people make comments about how psychology is a sham, not a science, fluffy, or some other degrading adjective. I usually find that these people haven't the foggiest idea what psychology actually is. I'm willing to bet that many people here that are claiming psychology as a non-science are thinking about what is actually therapy or counseling. I suggest any doubters read actual psychology journals before they make such claims. Much of the advancement in our understanding of neurophysiology, sensory systems, cognitive processing, decision-making, social behavior, and human development is due to research conducted under the umbrella of psychology. The problem is that the public isn't aware of psychology's breadth.

Re:Psychology is a science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920906)

No, we know what psychology is, and we still think it's not a science. We feel the same way about sociology, political science, and all the other "sciences" predicated on post hoc reasoning. If you can't have a controlled and reproducible experiment, you can't have science.

Re:Psychology is a science. (3, Interesting)

schwnj (990042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920980)

Your comment betrays you. Why on earth do you think that psychology does not involve controlled and reproducible experiments? Why do you think it is based on post-hoc reasoning? Like I said, you need to merely look into psychological research to see your error.

Re:Psychology is a science. (1)

Gunnut1124 (961311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921240)

How about you cite something enlightening... If it's more advanced than the AC above suggested, you might change my mind, but I am seriously skeptical. I've read enough on sociology and political science to say that those fields are hopeless as far as hard science goes. Maybe there's something special about psychology that we've all missed...

Re:Psychology is a science. (3, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921028)

There's a tremendous amount of reproducible, controlled experiments in psychology. One area that in the last thirty years has been particularly successful is in quantifying and detecting cognitive biases. There have been very careful, clever experiments documenting the conjunction fallacy and when humans do it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjunction_fallacy [wikipedia.org] , the framing effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framing_effect_(psychology) [wikipedia.org] , confirmation bias http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias [wikipedia.org] , and many more. Moreover, there are now being developed general theories that explain what sorts of errors in reasoning humans will make, and those theories are often falsifiable. Psychology does have problems and especially had problems historically. It probably has one of the worst signal to crap rates of any of the soft sciences, but that doesn't make it a science and doesn't mean people aren't doing very good work in it.

Re:Psychology is a science. (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921040)

That's all well and good, but I suspect that the majority of those papers will be shoddy methodologically/statistically; In all of the social sciences there is a widely shared shared tendency to say "let's keep analyzing the data until we find something that gives us a p value smaller than or equal to 0.05. Once we have that, we will write an introduction that fits that 'finding,' and we shall not mention that we did 30 different analyses to find this 'significant' finding (which might just be a statistical fluke, but who knew).." There is a reason why most social science research findings simply are not replicable.
Certainly the subject can potentially be researched scientifically, but from that it does not follow that the actual research being done is actually rigorous.

Re:Psychology is a science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37921204)

Yes, that's called "fishing for correlation". It's not only rampant social sciences but also medical science.

Psychology is a *SOCIAL* science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37921122)

There are many reason why it is not considered a "real" science. nuff said.

Hey, just like Freud! (1)

xeeno (313431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37920842)

You would think a psychologist would know better.

Smoke more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920914)

Stapel: "Uhhhmm lets see... Facts?... Fiction?......Same thing!"

"It has long been known that acute marijuana administration impairs working memory" Study on usage of weed and Forgetting [nih.gov]

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37920940)

this news story is okay, but could use a bit more irony. Like, if all of his papers had been on scientific dishonesty or the prevalence of fraudulent data.

"retraction" letters Science and Nature every week (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921060)

Its rather stunning. They have a special section at the beginning of their letters section with the bold title "Retraction". Something almost every week now.

To be fair, most of those authors are not intentionally deception like this guy. But the system encourages rushing sensational results into print (like arsenic-based life) before they can be verified elsewhere. "Nobel prize or bust!" P.S. This result has not been retracted, although many have asked for that.

Im not sure which is worse... (2)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921266)

Faked data like this or studies/data that are suppressed by the legions of lawyers at Monsanto and Pfizer. One is simply fabricated, the other is more boot-to-the-neck.

Perposterous (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37921300)

His accusation is silly.. now get the hell away from my steak, it's mine!! MINE!
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