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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Withdraw that emotion: Psych journal retracts two Stapel papers on mood

with 3 comments

Two more papers from Dutch fraudster Diederik Stapel have been retracted. Both appeared in the journal Psychological Science in 2008, with the same, evidently unwitting co-author, Kirsten Ruys, of Tilburg University.

Here is the notice:

The following articles have been retracted from publication in Psychological Science:

Ruys, K. I., & Stapel, D. A. (2008). The secret life of emotions. Psychological Science, 19, 385–391. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02097.x

Ruys, K. I., & Stapel, D. A. (2008). Emotion elicitor or emotion messenger? Subliminal priming reveals two faces of facial expressions. Psychological Science, 19, 593–603. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02128.x

The editors and publishers of Psychological Science have made the retractions following the results of an investigation into the work of Diederik A. Stapel (https://www.commissielevelt.nl/). The Levelt Committee has determined that these articles contained data that were fabricated by author Stapel. His coauthor was unaware of his actions, was not in any way involved in the generation of the data, and agrees to the retraction of the articles.

The following Psychological Science articles coauthored by Stapel have been cleared by the Levelt Committee, whose investigation into these articles found no evidence of fraudulent data or practices:

Lammers, J., Stapel, D. A., & Galinsky, A. D. (2010). Power increases hypocrisy: Moralizing in reasoning, immorality in behavior. Psychological Science, 21, 737–744. doi:10.1177/0956797610368810

Lammers, J., Stoker, J. I., Jordan, J., Pollmann, M., & Stapel, D. A. (2011). Power increases infidelity among men and women. Psychological Science, 22, 1191–1197. doi:10.1177/0956797611416252

Lammers, J., Stoker, J. I., & Stapel, D. A. (2009). Differentiating social and personal power: Opposite effects on stereotyping, but parallel effects on behavioral approach tendencies. Psychological Science, 20, 1543–1549. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02479.x

The five articles noted above are the only ones published in Psychological Science on which Stapel is listed as an author.

Psychological Science bills itself as “the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.” “The secret life of emotions” has been cited 26 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, while the other paper has been cited 24.

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Written by Adam Marcus

June 29, 2012 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. I wonder if making Stapel repay the funding he received for his “research” would deter any would-be fraudsters? Or are the Stapels of this world impossible to deter?

    Thomas Barends

    June 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    • What makes you think Stapel’s bankbook is any more truthful than his research? He’s probably indigent and insulated from having to pay anything back by disability.

      Conrad T Seitz MD

      July 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    • Most of that money went to paying grad students etc, they can’t really get that back.


      July 3, 2012 at 7:02 am

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