Dutch Scientist Fired for Faking Data

A psychologist whose splashy findings on human nature routinely made the news has been dismissed for falsifying data.

Tia Ghose
Sep 8, 2011

DAQUELLA MANERA, FLICKR

A Dutch social psychologist whose research gained a lot of publicity is now making headlines for a different reason: he has been fired for faking data.

Diederik Stapel, who headed the Institute for Behavioral Economics Research at Tilburg University, routinely published controversial findings that seemed to get at fundamental aspects of human nature.  In April, he published a Science study showing that messy or chaotic environments make people more prone to relying on stereotypes.

But late last month (August 27), researchers in his lab contacted the Rector of the university, Philip Eijlander, and alleged that some of the data was fabricated, ScienceInsider reports. In a TV interview, Eijlander revealed that Stapel admitted to faking the data and was leaving the university. A panel will investigate the extent of the fraud and “tainted papers” will be retracted, Eijlander told ScienceInsider.

Just last week, Stapel sent...

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