Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘european journal of social psychology’ Category

Can we do math unconsciously? Replicators of a prominent 2012 study have some doubts

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In 2012, news media were abuzz with a new finding from PNAS: Authors based in Israel had found evidence that our brains can unconsciously process more than we thought — including basic math and reading.  In other words, the authors claimed people could read and do math without even knowing what they were doing.

With such a major development in the field of consciousness research, other groups quickly got to work trying to replicate the findings. Those efforts have taken some twists and turns — including a recent retraction of a replication paper that was, itself, not reproducible (which is not something we see every day). But overall, five years after the initial, remarkable result, the replication efforts are calling it into question.

According to Pieter Moors at KU Leuven, a researcher in this field:

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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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Diederik Stapel now has 58 retractions

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stapel_npcSocial psychologist Diederik Stapel has notched his 58th retraction, after admitting he fabricated data in yet another article.

He’s holding onto his 4th place spot on our leaderboard.

This latest retraction is for “Correction or comparison? The effects of prime awareness on social judgments,” published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. As usual for Stapel, this paper has been retracted because he fabricated data.

Here’s the note:

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The 39 retractions: Stapel’s count rises again

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stapel_npcIt’s getting hard to keep up. A day ago, we noted that Diederik Stapel’s retraction count had risen to 38. But later in the day, we heard about number 39, from the European Journal of Social Psychology.

Here’s the notice for “Making sense of war: Using the interpretation comparison model to understand the Iraq conflict”: Read the rest of this entry »

Diederik Stapel notches retractions 29, 30, and 31

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Diederik Stapel has three more retractions, making 31.

The most recent three we’ve found all appear in the European Journal of Social Psychology: Read the rest of this entry »

Three more retractions for Diederik Stapel

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We apologize for what must seem like a constant drip, drip, drip, but we have three more retractions from Diederik Stapel to report, all from the European Journal of Social Psychology.

The first, in order of publication date, involves a 2006 paper by Stapel and co-author Camille Johnson — whose name has appeared on several other of Stapel’s retracted papers — titled “When nothing compares to me: How defensive motivations and similarity shape social comparison effects.”

The notice reads: Read the rest of this entry »