Diederik Stapel faked at least 30 papers

Social psychology is going to take a beating over the Diederik Stapel fraud. It provides ample fuel for the view that social psychology is no science but merely the half-baked opinions of narcissists and charlatans. Ego trips and TV appearances have governed the field rather than any scientific rigour.

The interim report of the investigation being carried out by the of Universities of Tilburg and Groningen which started in mid September is now out.

Diederik Stapel

The interim report (in Dutch) is here:

pdf Stapel interim-rapport

The extent of the fraud is breathtaking and the investigation is far from over. At least 30 papers have been found to contain fraudulent data, at least 14 doctoral theses that he supervised are compromised for using fabricated data and in all about 150 papers going back to 2004 are being investigated. Legal action is to be taken. This one is going down in the history books.

(Update! 1st November: Science Insider carries the story here)

Dutch News writes:

Tilburg and Groningen universities are to take legal action against one of their professors after an investigation showed he had faked research data in at least 30 scientific papers. The fraud is ‘considerable and shocking’, the committee set up to look into Diederik Stapel’s academic publications said in an initial report into the scandal on Monday.

Stapel, who was a professor of social and behavioural sciences at Tilburg, was suspended last month after doubts emerged about research that concluded eating meat makes people anti-social and selfish.

The investigation shows at least 30 academic papers submitted to respected scientific journals contained data that he had invented and there are doubts about several dozen more, the committee said.

In total, statistics quoted in 150 papers dating back to 2004 when Stapel worked at Groningen University, are being examined.

The investigation committee also accused Stapel of abusing his position by damaging the reputations of young researchers who worked with him. False statistical data was used in 14 out of 21 doctoral theses mentored by Stapel ….. 

‘Stapel has misused his partners for his own glory,’ committee chairman Pim Levelt said. ‘He lied to them. They can no longer take pride in their own publications and in some instances, will have to alter their cvs.’ 

In a written response to the allegations published on the Brabants Dagblad newspaper website, Stapels says he has ‘failed as a researcher and academic’.

‘I realize now that my behavior has stunned and angered my colleagues and put my area of expertise – social psychology – in a bad light,’ he wrote. ‘I am embarrassed and deeply sorry for this.’ … 

The original NRC article in Dutch is here. 

Related: Dutch social psychologist sacked for faking data over a “prolonged period”

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4 Responses to “Diederik Stapel faked at least 30 papers”

  1. Famoso sicólogo admite haber falsificado docenas de estudios - Re-Ciencia Says:

    […] Diederik Stapel faked at least 30 papers (ktwop.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Paulo S. Says:

    In Brazil we also have one of those Lord of Frauds, yet in Chemistry. Read the entry below:


    A closer look into his career reveals that he systematically and routinely faked data (mostly using Photoshop) and during several years he was able to produce one paper every 2 months as first author.

    Brazilian academy in general tries to ignore the case, and this ‘professional’ keeps going in his field.

  3. Just the Facts: Empirical Social Science Overplayed « Sago Says:

    […] Diederik Stapel faked at least 30 papers (ktwop.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Iran’s foreign nuclear scientist – who never was « The k2p blog Says:

    […] The IAEA just took on board what an intelligence service had provided (thought to be Mossad) and is increasingly just becoming a tool of political objectives. After Iraq it is also clear that the US and other intelligence services are quite happy to “create” intelligence if the desired information is not available. And it would seem that Mossad spends a great deal of time in manufacturing information and not just in gathering it. (Shades of Hauser and Stapel)! […]

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