Freud Fraud?

JMJ

Dutch psychologist Dr. Diederik Stapel has recently admitted: “I have failed as a scientist and researcher,” as a committee recently found significant issues of false reports, faked experiments, and phony data in dozens of his papers, according to a New York Times article from today.

What I particularly find interesting is that these dozens of articles were published in a variety of highly recognized, established, and even prestigious international journals, supposedly “peer-reviewed” by scholars and editors.

My question: who is to blame? Is Stapel at fault for committing such fraud over such an extended period of time, in numerous publicly published articles? Or are the reviewers of the articles to blame, as they failed to find fault with them. (“I find no fault in the man.”) Because of his actions, the world of psychology has been turned upside-down; but it will certainly come out for the better as a result. Should Stapel be penalized, when in actuality, he exposed a critical flaw in the system?

God love you!

It depends on the nature of the fraud. It is possible that Stapel’s ‘research’ simply mimicked that of other scientists (agreeing with or adding to, already established findings), in which case it would might have not raised red flags. The system does depend on a certain basic level of personal ethics and integrity. If he published studies which he never conducted, but did so in a clever enough way, the falsity might have been hard to detect. I’d be interested in knowing how he was eventually found out.

Who is to Blame?? The one perpetrating the Fraud. That is Dr Stapel himself.

Others are at fault for their particular failures to properly review and check the supposed facts, data etc.

Stapel should indeed be penalized for what he did, and others should be penalized for what they did (or did not do).

This is actually a well established principle in the field of Quality Assurance.
I worked for many years in Quality Assurance and I can state categorically that the failure of the “quality control” to catch the defects does not in any way exonerate the person who caused the defects in the first place. They have a share in it to be sure and will need to be a part of the needed corrective action, but the fact remains that ideally there should not have been any defects for the inspectors to find…Particularly ones deliberately introduced.

Peace
James

Link to an article about the case: nytimes.com/2011/11/03/health/research/noted-dutch-psychologist-stapel-accused-of-research-fraud.html

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.