Science expresses “concern” about Stapel paper
A day after Tilburg University released its preliminary report on psychologist Diederik Stapel, Science has issued an “expression of concern” about one of his papers.
The 2011 article, titled “Coping with Chaos: How Disordered Contexts Promote Stereotyping and Discrimination,” was written by Stapel and Siegwart Lindenberg, a Tilburg colleague with an appointment at the University of Groningen.
Here’s the notice, signed by Science editor Bruce Alberts:
The Report “Coping with chaos: How disordered contexts promote stereotyping and discrimination” by D. A. Stapel and S. Lindenberg (1) reported the effects of the physical environment on human stereotyping and discriminatory behavior. On 31 October 2011, Tilburg University held a press conference to announce interim findings of its investigation into possible data fraud in the body of work published by Stapel. The official report in Dutch (translated into English using Google software) indicates that the extent of the fraud by Stapel is substantial. Pending further details of the Tilburg Committee’s findings, Science is publishing this Editorial Expression of Concern to alert our readers that serious concerns have been raised about the validity of the findings in this Report.
The Science paper was cited once, by the authors of “Use of Priming-Based Interventions to Facilitate Psychological Health,” which appeared in September in Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Update, 5:30 p.m. Eastern, 11/1/11: Why an expression of concern and not a retraction? Monica M. Bradford, executive editor of Science, told us that the journal
[has] not received official notification from the investigation committee that the Science paper is fraudulent so an Editorial Expression of Concern is an appropriate step at this time.
An article on ScienceInsider Monday quoted a statement by Stapel saying that he had “failed as a scientist.”