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Archive for the ‘jens forster’ Category

Journals flag two papers by psychologist Jens Förster

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forster-j-a1Journals have flagged two papers by prominent social psychologist Jens Förster — whose work has been subject to much scrutiny — over concerns regarding the validity of the data. 

Förster already has three retractions, following an investigation by his former employer, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the Netherlands. In 2014, we reported on the first retraction for Förster for one of three studies with odd patterns that were flagged by the UvA investigation, a 2012 paper in Social Psychological and Personality Science; subsequently, the Netherlands Board on Research Integrity concluded that data had been manipulatedThree statistical experts from the UvA then carried out a more in-depth analysis of 24 publications by Förster, and found eight to have “strong evidence for low scientific veracity.”

Last year, Förster agreed to retract two more papers as part of a deal with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs); those retractions appeared earlier this year. All three papers that Förster has lost until now are from the “strong evidence for low scientific veracity” category. Recently, two more of Förster’s papers from the same category were flagged with notices, but not retracted.

One “statement of institutional concern,” issued by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, reads:
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Psychologist Jens Förster earns second and third retractions as part of settlement

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Jens Förster

High-profile social psychologist Jens Förster has earned two retractions following an investigation by his former workplace. He agreed to the retractions as part of a settlement with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs).

The papers are two of eight that were found to contain “strong statistical evidence for low veracity.” According to the report from an expert panel convened at the request of the board of the University of Amsterdam, following

an extensive statistical analysis, the experts conclude that many of the experiments described in the articles show an exceptionally linear link. This linearity is not only surprising, but often also too good to be true because it is at odds with the random variation within the experiments.

One of those eight papers was retracted in 2014. In November, the American Psychology Association received an appeal to keep two of the papers, and Förster agreed to the retractions of two more:

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Psychologist Jens Forster settles case by agreeing to 2 retractions

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Jens Förster

Following questions about the veracity of multiple papers by his former employer, high-profile social psychologist Jens Förster has agreed to retract two papers as part of a deal with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs).

Last year, Förster had a paper retracted at the request of his former employer, the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In May, an investigation commissioned by UvA found that many of his experiments looked “too good to be true,” and eight papers showed strong signs of “low veracity.”

Just two of those papers are acknowledged in the settlement of a case by the DGPs against Förster, who currently works at Ruhr University Bochum. Here’s a translation of a notice from the DGPs from One Hour Translation:

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Weekend reads: California universities battle in court for research dollars; fake conferences; fake impact factors

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booksThis week at Retraction Watch featured a look at the nuances of replication efforts, aka “the replication paradox,” as well as yet another story of fake peer reviews, this time at Hindawi. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 11th, 2015 at 9:31 am

Yet another investigation casts doubt on Förster’s findings; he responds with “outrage”

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Jens Förster

Jens Förster

A new group of experts is suggesting there’s something fishy in the body of work of social psychologist Jens Förster.

The University of Amsterdam, Förster’s former employer, commissioned three statistical experts to examine his publication record, looking for signs that the data are not authentic.

Well, they found some signs:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 3rd, 2015 at 10:05 am

Beleaguered Förster turns down prestigious professorship, citing personal toll

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Jens Förster

Jens Förster, a social scientist accused of research misconduct, has turned down a highly coveted — and well-endowed — professorship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Foster explained his decision to decline the 5 million Euro award in a post on his personal website: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

April 20th, 2015 at 11:07 am

Retraction appears for social psychologist Jens Förster

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Jens Förster

A retraction has appeared for Jens Förster, the former University of Amsterdam social psychologist whose work has come under serious scrutiny by two official committees.

Here’s the notice for 2012’s “Sense Creative! The Impact of Global and Local Vision, Hearing, Touching, Tasting and Smelling on Creative and Analytic Thought,” a paper which first appeared in Social Psychological and Personality Science:
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Written by Ivan Oransky

November 27th, 2014 at 8:30 am

Förster on defense again, this time weighing in on timeline controversy

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forster-j-aScience reported last week that Jens Förster, the former University of Amsterdam social psychologist embroiled in data fabrication controversy, may have stumbled in his defense by muddling the timeline of his disputed studies in public statements.

According to a piece by Frank van Kolfschooten (which is behind a paywall, and to which we linked in Saturday’s Weekend Reads):

The real challenge to Förster’s timeline may lie in e-mails between him and Pieter Verhoeven, his research assistant at UvA from September 2008 to June 2009, who made the correspondence available to Förster’s accuser. In it, the two discuss how to conduct what are evidently the same experiments Förster’s blog declares were completed much earlier in Bremen. For instance, among the stimuli used are three unintelligible audio recordings, which the 2011 paper says were described to the subjects as “Moldavian” poems. In an 18 May 2009 e-mail, Verhoeven comes up with the idea to describe the poem that way, rather than as Malaysian, because the reader of the poem has a German accent.

But in a yet another lengthy open letter to colleagues and friends, Förster insists that he conducted the studies in Germany before coming to the University of Amsterdam. And he hints darkly at the end that those seeking to cast doubt on his research may be doing so for personal gain: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

June 2nd, 2014 at 10:30 am

“I never manipulated data”: Förster defends actions in open letter

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Jens Förster

Jens Förster, the Dutch social psychologist accused of misconduct, has posted an open letter on his lab’s website in which he denies wrongdoing.

The letter, in English and dated May 11, offers a detailed rebuttal to the investigation’s conclusions. It also offers a rationale for Förster’s decision not to post his data on the Internet. And it’s followed by a briefer letter from Nira Liberman, who identifies herself as a collaborator of Förster’s.

We present the letter in full below:

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Written by amarcus41

May 12th, 2014 at 10:16 am

Förster report cites “unavoidable” conclusion of data manipulation

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Jens Förster

Last week we wrote about the 2012 complaint that triggered the investigation into Jens Förster, the social psychologist at the University of Amsterdam whose work has come under scrutiny for possible fraud.

Now we have the findings of the official investigation by Landelijk Orgaan Wetenschappelijke Integriteit (the Dutch National Board for Scientific Integrity, often referred to as LOWI) — which clearly indicates that the institution believes Förster made up results.

Here are some of the highlights from the document, which we’ve had translated by a Dutch speaker:

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Written by amarcus41

May 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am