This case study tells about Diederik Stapel, who fabricated data in dozens of studies. Statisticians found a lot of anomalies in data, which prove that it was fabricated intentionally. Diederik conducted numerous provocative studies in the field of social cognition. Social cognition is really important for the interaction between people. Therefore fake research could have a huge negative influence on understanding how mental processes influence how we relate to each other.
What kinds of reasons are offered for fabricating data? Which, if any, of those reasons are good reasons–i.e., reasons that might justify fabricating data?
There are no good reasons offered for fabricating the data. The only reason Diederik did this was that he wanted to become provocative and famous. It was totally unethical as Diedrik pursued only his own goals. He wasn’t interested in the accuracy of the research and how it might influence society.
Why is honesty in scientific research important to the scientific community?
It is important for numerous reasons. Firstly, scientists often conduct studies based on data acquired by other scientists. Therefore they have to be sure that this data is trustworthy. Secondly, honesty is a sign of professionalism. It is impossible to make a professional, scientific career without being honest and free of bias and prejudice. Finally, the dishonesty of one single scientist may harm the reputation of scientists who work in the same field.
Why is honesty in scientific research important for the public?
Firstly, each scientist has to be honest, as fabricating research may harm people and slow down the development of human society. Secondly, numerous studies are financed by the public or by the taxes which are paid by people. Therefore scientists have to be honest. Otherwise, they won’t get financial support for their research. Finally, dishonest and inaccurate studies in the field of healthcare or social cognition may harm the physical or mental health of the whole nation, decreasing stability and economic welfare in the county. Therefore each scientist must be socially responsible.