There is fraud everywhere. There are some people want rewards they can not achieve without cheating. Some (possibly most) find ways to rationalize and justify their actions. The autobiography written by Diederik Stapel, where he tries to explain and admit his actions after he was caught, offers some great insight . For another reaction, Amy Cuddy has largely denied any wrongdoing, despite overwhelming evidence and admittances from co-authors. She has built and maintained a consulting and public speaking practice, though is no longer active in academia .

I have other examples on this page, such as:

The group that has identified several frauds, call themselves Data Colada. Recently, they have identified numerous data irregularities in work conducted by Francesca Gino. This caught my eye, as I cite and use her work in some of my teaching and lecturing. In a four part series, Data Colada lay out their case for fraud in four of Gino’s articles, and they are all four well worth the read! The first is here: .

Some points to note:

  • They strongly suspect data manipulation in many of her other papers, but have chosen to focus on four with very clear and compelling evidence found in the datafiles made available by Gino.
  • They sent a 10 page report to Harvard, who hired a forensic data analysis firm to investigate. So far, several papers have been retracted, and Gino is on “administrative leave”.
  • They point out that there is most likely more cheating going on, and that they have only caught the instances where the cheater messed up in covering their tracks.
  • data visualizations are excellent tools to illustrate findings in data!

I am also left wondering about what motivated Gino. In Stapel’s book, he talks about wanting to be invited to speak in the big rooms at conferences, and that his theories were so compelling that data that did not support it, should not stop the theories from being proposed. Gino went from UNC to Harvard, where she attained a chaired position. Perhaps ambition and expectations from her peers, to continue to produce novel and unexpected findings were the driving force behind her choices to fudge the data?

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