Renowned psychologist Dan Ariely literally wrote the book on dishonesty. Now some are questioning whether the scientist himself is being dishonest.
According to the 2012 paper, when people signed an honesty declaration at the beginning of a form, rather than the end, they were less likely to lie. A seemingly cheap and effective method to fight fraud, it was adopted by at least one insurance company, tested by government agencies around the world, and taught to corporate executives. It made a splash among academics, who cited it in their own research more than 400 times.Stephanie M. Lee, “A Famous Honesty Researcher Is Retracting A Study Over Fake Data” at Buzzfeed
Of course, Ariely was featured in TED talks, had an advice column in the Wall Street Journal and wrote a New York Times bestseller. His co-author, we are told, did all right too.
But then, apart from the fact that follow-up studies did not support the main thesis, another problem arose:
But more recently, a group of outside sleuths scrutinized the original paper’s underlying data and stumbled upon a bigger problem: One of its main experiments was faked “beyond any shadow of a doubt,” three academics wrote in a post on their blog, Data Colada, on Tuesday.Stephanie M. Lee, “A Famous Honesty Researcher Is Retracting A Study Over Fake Data” at Buzzfeed
The rest is classic.
Here’s the paper. Here’s the Data Colada story.
Stephanie Lee describes this as the latest blow to behavioral economics. One fears it will not be the last.
Note: (This post is dedicated to all who believe that SCIENCE is a big answer to the questions of the ages.)
10 Replies to “We did NOT make this up: Famed Honesty researcher’s paper retracted over made-up data”
Which is why the emphasis must always be on replication. Scientists suffer from the same human failings as any other group of human beings, including the religious. It’s the best way we have of weeding out flawed or fraudulent research.
Sounds like Ariely is simply naive and unrealistic, not intentionally dishonest.
The academic side of “social” “science” has been disconnected from reality since 1910 or so. Insurers and marketers have been running real experiments with a real profit motive, so their own findings about behavior and motivation are accurate. Insurers have learned how to judge honesty from BILLIONS of real experiments.
Scenario: When Ariely asked Hartford to run this little study, Hartford ACCURATELY JUDGED that Ariely was influential and naive. They figured that his “results” might lead competing companies to adopt a really dumb and ineffective way of judging honesty, thus giving Hartford a competitive advantage.
this is an excellent description of an usual Darwinian biologist …
PS: however, i am sure, that there are lots of Darwinian biologists who ARE intentionally dishonest …
So why do you believe then in Darwinian theory of evolution ?
Seversky, tell me, isn’t this number a bit too high ?
2/3 ???? This is crazy …
@1 Seversky said
“Which is why the emphasis must always be on replication. Scientists suffer from the same human failings as any other group of human beings, including the religious. It’s the best way we have of weeding out flawed or fraudulent research.”
I fully agree with what Martin said. Then why do you believe in evolution?
Replication is THE main problem with the hypothesis! Even computer models can be wrong – even if we can tweak them to get them to work on paper.
If you can’t test the hypothesis, how can we call it science? How can we trust it?
Where did life come from? Answer: Abiogenesis
But this is nothing but a hypothesis because it cannot be replicated.
Is it possible for sexual reproduction to evolve from asexual organisms? Evolution says “Yes”, but it is not testable or replicable. It’s a statement of faith that it can and did happen.
Just take a look at all the just so stories about how language evolved or concerning any number other issues. morality, consciousness, the brain, flight, seemingly irreducibly complex organs like the bacterium flagella, etc etc etc.
This is what creationists have been saying for years! Evolution is not science.
But on a different note, Sev, what does it matter if he faked some stuff? Why is that “wrong”? What harm did it do? Where do you get “ought” out of is? This is another big problem with science. In your worldview, there is NOTHING that is intrinsically wrong. Illegal? Yes, but not morally wrong because there is no objective moral standard by which to judge anything. You can justify anything if you try hard enough. It makes little sense that this fraud bothers you. If he gets away with it, then so be it. Evolution is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. It just is. Whatever happens happens and that’s just the way it is. His actions were nothing more than the result of the chemical reactions that randomly took place in his brain. How can you fault him for that?
when you have mentioned this, you know what Darwnists also claim?
That the evolution works also the other way around … from sexual back to asexual reproduction … (what a mess is this theory)
And of course, this transition happened not once, but many times independently
Here you go (a 2018 paper):
Polistra at 2: Here, we don’t profess to read minds. Accusations of dishonesty must necessarily turn on external evidence. But that can be enough to sink the ship.
It comes down to a legal concept: What should the person “reasonably have known” about what was being done, said, and written?
A person who is not reasonable – in that sense – shouldn’t be in a responsible position anyway. People can always plead incompetence and accept the consequences.
Notice the design detection aspect?
seversky points out why there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. Thank you.