Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dutch psychologist fudged


Eat this—no wait, that will kill you. Take this supplement…or wait a sec, maybe…

Who knows what to do anymore.

All we have is the faint hope that some smart scientist is spending countless lonely hours and shepherding swarms of assistants to gather data and trying to find out what works, what’s what, and what we should do.

Then—inevitably—we chip at it—did a corporation pay this researcher to nudge results its direction? Were there enough people in the study? Was it designed well? Does it mean squat? Was the study even done or was it pure fiction?

Benedict Carey, NYT, Nov 2, 2011, writes about some dude named Diederik Stapel, Tillburg University in Holland, who is being questioned about studies he did on hypocrisy, racial stereotyping and advertisements.

He, of course, hopped on a website immediately and beat his sorry little chest…”I have failed as a scientist and researcher… yick yack.”

He published more than 150 papers with “sexy” results that got publicity. He was “lord of the data,” never let any other researchers examine it (two-thirds of Dutch researchers say they don’t).

Two thousand American researchers studied by the Harvard Business School found that 70% said—anonymously—that they had cut some corners.

Statistical errors were another widespread problem. Math, people, math!

Maybe saying most people are foaming racists is “softer” than saying everyone should be piling in the vitamins, but both are sloppy!

You are wasting my time, people, and dragging down big salaries while doing it. I don’t like it.

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