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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Journal retracts two Stapel papers, on salesmen and on women who change their names when they marry

with 4 comments

The journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology has retracted two articles by Diederik Stapel, the Dutch researcher who has admitted falsifying his data. Stapel was suspended from his post at Tilburg University in September.

Here are the notices, which appear together:

Statements of Retraction

The following article is being retracted from publication in Basic and Applied Social Psychology: ‘‘What’s in a Name? 361.708 Euros: The Effects of Marital Name Change,’’ by Marret K. Noordewier, Femke van Horen, Kirsten I. Ruys, & Diederik A. Stapel (32:1, 17–25, DOI:10.1080=01973530903539812).

After the Levelt Committee determined this article to be fraudulent, the Editors and Publishers of Basic
and Applied Social Psychology have retracted the article (for further details, please visit the following link).

The following article is being retracted from publication in Basic and Applied Social Psychology: ‘‘Stereotype Disconfirmation Affect: When Sweet Hooligans Make You Happy and Honest Salesmen Make You Sad,’’ by Marret K. Noordewier & Diederik A. Stapel (33:1, 1–6, DOI:10.1080=01973533.2010. 540135). After the Levelt Committee determined this article to be fraudulent, the Editors and Publishers of Basic and Applied Social Psychology have retracted the article (for further details, please visit the following link).

Neither paper has been cited by any others, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Both papers were subject to an expression of concern:

We note our concern with respect to the articles “Stereotype Disconfirmation Affect: When Sweet Hooligans Make You Happy and Honest Salesmen Make You Sad” (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01973533.2010.540135) by Diederik Stapel and Marret K. Noordewier and “Harnessing Social Comparisons: When and How Upward Comparisons Influence Goal Pursuit” (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01973533.2010.495640) by Diederik Stapel and Camille S. Johnson. We note that on 31 October 2011, Tilburg University released interim findings of its investigation into apparent data fraud in works published by Diederik Stapel.
INTERIM REPORT REGARDING THE BREACH OF SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY COMMITTED BY PROF. D.A. STAPEL
Pending the conclusion of the investigation, Basic and Applied Social Psychology is publishing this Editors’ Statement of Concern about the validity of data reported in this article.

Interestingly, the journal is not — for the moment, at least — retracting a 2010 paper by Stapel and Camille Johnson, “Harnessing Social Comparisons: When and How Upward Comparisons Influence Goal Pursuit.” And for what it’s worth, Stapel and Johnson were listed as editorial consultants for the BASP in the years 2003-2004. We left voice and email messages for BASP‘s editor, but haven’t heard back yet.

Science retracted a paper by Stapel in December, after initially issuing an expression of concern about the work. Published reports have said that investigators believe some 30 of Stapel’s papers, and possibly many more, will require retraction.

As noted elsewhere, Tilburg and two of Stapel’s former institutions, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Groningen, have set up a website to monitor in real time the investigation into his research. The site includes a list of 18 publications, including the three retracted articles mentioned in this post, and three dissertations marred by bogus data. Among the reasons for the determinations are (from various papers):

  • Fake data collection (school data), data supplied by Mr. Stapel
  • Very doubtful results, e.g.,  too strong effect sizes in particular given the reliabilities of the scales, all F’s smaller than 1 for non-significant results
  • Highly unlikely design of experiments, that is, unlikely next to impossible to realize experimental set up in the described circumstances
  • Highly unbelievably results, e.g., seven out of seven F-values < 1  for research hypotheses where no effect is expected (and later: six out of six F < 1); very high correlations between scales of need for structure and stereotyping, higher than can be expected from these scales’ reliabilities

We think that’s a transparent approach other institutions might want to consider when they’re faced with similar situations.

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4 Responses

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  1. Poor Marret K. Noordewier.

  2. The second investigative committee, the Noort committee, recently published their results. https://www.commissielevelt.nl/noort-committee/fraud-determined/
    The results indicate that mr Stapel does not seem to remember whether several of his older papers are fraudulent.

    Betablokker

    May 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  3. “What’s in a Name? 361.708 Euros: The Effects of Marital Name Change”

    Funny coincidence: if you take that no. in the title (361.708) and relate it to the Dewey Decimal Classification System, you get:

    3 social sciences
    36 social problems and social services
    361 social problems and services
    361.7 private action
    361.708 groups of people

    Anonymous

    January 27, 2013 at 10:47 am


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