Scientific fraud Diederik Stapel signs off on his first official retraction

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Early last month, prominent social psychologist Diederik Stapel was outed as one of the biggest frauds in scientific history when he admitted to fabricating results in numerous scientific studies.

The committees charged with investigating Stapel's work continue to pore over the results from over 150 of publications in search of fraudulent data, but yesterday, Stapel officially signed off on the first of what will likely amount to dozens of retracted publications when all is said and done.


The retracted paper, "Coping with chaos: How disordered contexts promote stereotyping and discrimination," was published in Science earlier this year, and was covered here on io9. The provocative study concluded that people were more likely to exhibit prejudiced or discriminatory behavior in dirty and disordered urban environments.


In a recent interview with Nature News, Siegwart Lindenberg — who co-authored the study with Stapel — expressed his disbelief at his colleague's scientific misconduct:

Stapel's doing had caught me as much by surprise as it did anybody else. I never had any suspicion. He was a very trusted man, dean of the faculty, brilliant, successful, no indications for me to be distrustful. In this, I was not the only one. I also had no trouble with the results of the experiments.

[Stapel] did not indicate which of the experiments contained faked data. I would love to know myself but he is not reachable, and I cannot find out any other way.


Lindenberg told Nature News that he intends to repeat the study, and that's good on him. In the meantime, we'll be making note of the original publication's retraction in our original article here at io9.

[Science via Nature News]
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