Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘j personality social psychology’ Category

Publisher won’t retract two papers, despite university’s request

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Jens Förster

Jens Förster, a high-profile social psychologist, has agreed to retract multiple papers following an institutional investigation — but has also fought to keep some papers intact. Recently, one publisher agreed with his appeal, and announced it would not retract two of his papers, despite the recommendation of his former employer.

Last month, the American Psychological Association (APA) announced it would not retract two papers co-authored by Förster, which the University of Amsterdam had recommended for retraction in May, 2015. The APA had followed the university’s advice last year and retracted two other papers, which Förster had agreed to as part of a settlement with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs). But after multiple appeals by Förster and his co-authors, the publisher has decided to retain the papers as part of the scientific record.

Many voices contributed to the discussion about these two papers — in November, 2016, the University of Amsterdam announced it was rejecting the appeal by another co-author on both papers, Nira Liberman, based at Tel Aviv University in Israel. The following month, Tel Aviv University announced that it believed the articles should not be retracted, based on its own internal review.

The APA reviewed the various recommendations, according to last month’s announcement:

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Psychology researcher explains how retraction-causing errors led to change in her lab

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jperssocpsychLast month, we brought you the story of two retractions by Yale’s Laurie Santos because the team discovered errors in the way the first author had coded the data. That first author, Neha Mahajan, took full responsibility for the coding problems, according to the retraction notices, and a university investigation cleared her of any “intentional, knowing, reckless, or grossly negligent action.”

But a few of our readers noted that the papers refer to a second coder on some of the experiments, and have questioned whether that’s compatible with Mahajan being solely responsible for the errors.

We asked Santos earlier this week to explain the apparent discrepancy, which she did along with a description of how her lab has made changes to prevent such errors in the future: Read the rest of this entry »

Doing the right thing: Yale psychology lab retracts monkey papers for inaccurate coding

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developmental scienceIn the midst of the holiday season, it’s a pleasure to be able to share the story of a scientist doing the right thing at significant professional cost — especially a researcher in psychology, a field that has been battered lately by scandal.

Sometime after publishing two papers — one in Developmental Science and another in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology — Yale’s Laurie Santos and her students realized there were problems with their data. We’ll let Santos — who made sure to respond to our request for comment immediately, in the midst of holiday travel, so that we had all the details and could help get the word out — tell the story: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction 46 arrives for Diederik Stapel

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stapel_npcDiederik Stapel has a new retraction, his 46th.

Here’s the notice for “The effects of diffuse and distinct affect. ” by Diederik A. Stapel, Willem Koomen and Kirsten I. Ruys, which appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2002: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 5th, 2013 at 11:26 am

This is 40 (and 41): More retractions for Diederik Stapel

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stapel_npcIt turns out we missed two more recent retractions from Diederik Stapel. They were nestled in the table of contents of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that contained four retractions we covered last week.

The notices, for “Method matters: Effects of explicit versus implicit social comparisons on activation, behavior, and self views” (cited 48 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge) and “From seeing to being: Subliminal social comparisons affect implicit and explicit self-evaluations” (cited 95 times), both say the same thing: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 24th, 2013 at 10:42 am

Stapel retraction count rises to 38

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stapel_npcDiederik Stapel’s 35th through 38th retractions have appeared, all in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Two of the notices — for “The self salience model of other-to-self effects: Integrating principles of self-enhancement, complementarity, and imitation” (cited 31 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge) and “Distinguishing stereotype threat from priming effects: On the role of the social self and threat-based concerns” (cited 20 times) — read as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 22nd, 2013 at 9:17 am

Retraction appears for paper by social psychologist Dirk Smeesters

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A paper by Dirk Smeesters — the former Erasmus University social psychology professor investigated for serious irregularities in his work — has been retracted.

The study, “Visual perspective influences the use of metacognitive information in temporal comparisons,” appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology earlier this year. Here’s the notice, which doesn’t quite say “fraud”: Read the rest of this entry »

And then there were 20: Diederik Stapel retraction count keeps growing

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Although he’s in no danger of breaking the current record of 172 likely retractions, Diederik Stapel now has 20 to his, um, credit.

The September 2012 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology features these seven: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 21st, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Following investigation, Erasmus social psychology professor retracts two studies, resigns

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Dirk Smeesters

The social psychology community, already rocked last year by the Diederik Stapel scandal, now has another set of allegations to dissect. Dirk Smeesters, a professor of consumer behavior and society at the Rotterdam School of Management, part of Erasmus University, has resigned amid serious questions about his work.

According to an Erasmus press release, a scientific integrity committee found that the results in two of Smeesters’ papers were statistically highly unlikely. Smeesters could not produce the raw data behind the findings, and told the committee that he cherry-picked the data to produce a statistically significant result. Those two papers are being retracted, and the university accepted Smeesters’ resignation on June 21.

The release also takes pains to say that the university has no reason to doubt the work of his co-authors. You can read the complete report in Dutch, with Smeesters’ co-authors’ names blacked out, in an NRC Handelsblad story.

Erasmus tells Retraction Watch that these are the two papers being retracted: Read the rest of this entry »