Monday, January 9, 2012

Ahhh HA, so it's NOT just me


Lots of cultural writing these days, in books and magazines and newspapers, relies on the so-called Chump Effect. The Effect is defined by its discoverer, me, as the eagerness of laymen and journalists to swallow whole the claims made by social scientists. Entire journalistic enterprises, whole books from cover to cover, would simply collapse into dust if even a smidgen of skepticism were summoned whenever we read that “scientists say” or “a new study finds” or “research shows” or “data suggest.” Most such claims of social science, we would soon find, fall into one of three categories: the trivial, the dubious, or the flatly untrue. 

A rather extreme example of this third option emerged last month when an internationally renowned social psychologist, Diederik Stapel of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, was proved to be a fraud. No jokes, please: This social psychologist is a fraud in the literal, perhaps criminal, and not merely figurative, sense. An investigative committee concluded that Stapel had falsified data in at least “several dozen” of the nearly 150 papers he had published in his extremely prolific career. More here: 

Oops, he even admitted it?

 Early last month, prominent social psychologist Diederik Stapel was outed as one of the biggest frauds in scientific history when he admitted to fabricating results in numerous scientific studies. More here:

In my opinion this jackass (and the many others like him) should be arrested for fraud and stealing. What did he do? He took money under false pretenses to serve his own interests. That's right ... under the guise of "doing things in YOUR interests," he served his own instead. And he's not alone.

I'd love to see us start jailing these thieves at a high rate of speed.

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