Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘j exp social psychology’ Category

Journal adds concern notice to paper by psychologist Jens Förster

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A social psychology journal has added an expression of concern to a paper by prominent social psychologist Jens Förster, whose work has been subject to much scrutiny.

This is the latest in a long-running saga involving Förster. The 2012 paper in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology had been flagged by a 2015 report describing an investigation into Förster’s work, which had concluded the paper likely contained unreliable data. Several other papers that received similar designations in that report have either been retracted or received expressions of concern (EoC).

The (paywalled) notice provides a lengthy explanation for why the journal chose to add an EoC, rather than retract the paper, as the University of Amsterdam had recommended. Here is an excerpt:

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What if we tried to replicate papers before they’re published?

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Martin Schweinsberg

Martin Schweinsberg

Eric Uhlmann

Eric Uhlmann

We all know replicability is a problem – consistently, many papers in various fields fail to replicate when put to the test. But instead of testing findings after they’ve gone through the rigorous and laborious process of publication, why not verify them beforehand, so that only replicable findings make their way into the literature? That is the principle behind a recent initiative called The Pipeline Project (covered in The Atlantic today), in which 25 labs checked 10 unpublished studies from the lab of one researcher in social psychology. We spoke with that researcher, Eric Uhlmann (also last author on the paper), and first author Martin Schweinsberg, both based at INSEAD.

Retraction Watch: What made you decide to embark upon this project? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 31st, 2016 at 2:00 pm

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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Violent songs can lead to spicy food, and other lessons we learned from corrected graphic

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A correction to a 2011 paper doesn’t change its main conclusion: Hearing song lyrics about violence — “let the bodies hit the floor,” for example — can prompt aggressive behavior, even more so than violent imagery in music videos.

The correction follows an investigation by Macquarie University that found errors in data analysis to be an “honest mistake.”

During the study — “The effect of auditory versus visual violent media exposure on aggressive behaviour: The role of song lyrics, video clips and musical tone,” published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology — the authors measured the effect of violent songs or imagery using the “hot sauce paradigm.” In this model, researchers estimate people’s level of aggression by how much hot sauce they give another person to eat. The study found that, indeed, people who are exposed to violence — particularly, lyrics —  give more hot sauce to their neighbors. It has been cited 6 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

One aspect of the paper prompted a tweet from a Dutch journalist: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

October 1st, 2015 at 2:30 pm

“Unfinished business”: Diederik Stapel retraction count rises to 53

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stapel_npcTwo more papers by Diederik Stapel — who was profiled by The New York Times Magazine this weekend — have been retracted, both in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The notice for “Hardly thinking about close and distant others: On cognitive business and target closeness in social comparison effects,” by Stapel and David Marx, and cited six times: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 30th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Frequent Retraction Watch fliers rack them up: Stapel hits 51, Lichtenthaler scores number 9

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freq flyer

Rewards may vary

Quick updates on work by two people whose names appear frequently on Retraction Watch: Diederik Stapel and Ulrich Lichtenthaler.

Last month, we reported on the 50th retraction for Stapel. Here’s number 51 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, for “The flexible unconscious: Investigating the judgmental impact of varieties of unaware perception:” Read the rest of this entry »

Diederik Stapel earns 33rd and 34th retractions

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stapel_npcTwo more retractions for Diederik Stapel, his 33rd and 34th, by our count.

The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, which has been a frequent subject of Retraction Watch posts recently, has retracted “Similarities and differences between the impact of traits and expectancies: What matters is whether the target stimulus is ambiguous or mixed:” Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction eight appears for social psychologist Lawrence Sanna

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jespEarlier this week, we reported on retractions six and seven , in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, for Lawrence Sanna, the former University of Michigan psychologist who resigned last May after questions were raised about his work. Retraction eight has now appeared, also in the JESP.

Here’s the notice for “When thoughts don’t feel like they used to: Changing feelings of subjective ease in judgments of the past:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 11th, 2013 at 8:30 am

Retraction 32 appears for Diederik Stapel

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stapel_npcDiederik Stapel has another retraction, his 32nd.

Here’s the notice, for “”Information to go: Fluency enhances the usability of primed information,” which first appeared in 2010 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 10th, 2013 at 8:30 am

“Fraud committed by any social psychologist diminishes all social psychologists”: New Sanna, Smeesters retractions

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jespThree new retractions — two of papers by Lawrence Sanna and one of work by Dirk Smeesters —  have appeared in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. The retractions come along with a hard-hitting piece by the journal’s editor.

In a tough soul-searching editorial called “On Fraud, Deceit, and Ethics” (unfortunately only available behind a paywall), journal editor in chief Joel Cooper writes that “Fraud committed by any social psychologist diminishes all social psychologists.” He continues: Read the rest of this entry »


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