Home > Education > Commission on Stapel-data-forgery publishes results: extent considerable and shocking

Commission on Stapel-data-forgery publishes results: extent considerable and shocking

October 31, 2011

By Marlene Werner

AMSTERDAM – The commission of Tilburg University presented preliminary findings on the extensive forgery of experimental data by Social Psychologist Diederik Stapel in an interim report, Oct 31.

“The scientific fraud committed by Prof. Stapel is considerable and shocking,” concluded the 2-month investigation of Tilburg University, University of Amsterdam and Groningen University according to their press release.

According to the commission, Stapel’s “ingenuity, manipulation and abuse of power” assisted him in sweeping the misconduct under the carpet.

“This fraud has damaged science, especially Social Psychology, to a high extent and stands without precursors for such a position as Stapel’s,” said the commission.

Around 30 articles published in renowned social psychological journals are based on fabricated data according to the commission’s findings.

Furthermore, Stapel spared only 7 of his 21 graduates from using forged data in their dissertation. The remaining 14 were almost definitely handling false experimental results.

Yet, all undertakings were solely conducted by Stapel without informed assistance by any of his colleagues, concluded the report.

This should come as a relief to Prof. Roos Vonk, who publicly denounced Stapel’s conduct earlier this year.

She was protesting her innocence concerning the results of a study on characteristics of meat eaters and vegetarians, which had been conducted by Vonk and Stapel in cooperation.

Stapel himself did not make a personal statement on his situation after his suspension.

Repeated attempts at contacting the professor in order to inquire into his motivations were unsuccessful.

He did not attend the press conference at which the interim report was publicized, reported Tilburg University’s newspaper.

The exact extent of Stapel’s forgery still requires further investigation.

150 additional publications still need to be checked, among which is also Stapel’s own dissertation.

Categories: Education
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