Thursday, July 05, 2012

Exposing Wrongdoing in Psychology Research

Psychology was already under scrutiny following a series of high-profile controversies. Now it faces fresh questions over research practices that can sometimes produce eye-catching — but irreproducible — results. Last week, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands said that social psychologist Dirk Smeesters had resigned after an investigation found that he had massaged data to produce positive outcomes in his research, such as the effect of colour on consumer behaviour1, 2. Smeesters says the practices he used are common in the field. None of his co-authors is implicated. The university was tipped off by social psychologist Uri Simonsohn at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who spoke exclusively to Nature about his investigation. more

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