Are WE ruining research?

Dec 1, 2011

Word of Mouth keeps its eye out for stories that are interesting, counterintuitive, many of which come from the world of science. It’s part of our mission to find the under-reported, simmering, surprising ideas that make us go “what?”

But that demand for fascinating findings may be part of the problem…perhaps pressuring researchers to manipulate their data to make it snazzier?  The recent scandal involving outright fabrications by social psychologist Diederik Stapel has raised the question of whether the system encourages transgressions.  Christopher Shea  recently wrote about dubious research practices for The Chronicle of Higher EducationHe joins us today to illustrate the difference between fudging and nudging the data.