Official SPSP communiqué on the Diederik Stapel debacle

The following was issued by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology regarding the academic misconduct I wrote about earlier:

Dear SPSP Colleagues,

As many of you have heard, Diederik Stapel has admitted to data fabrication and has been dismissed from his position at Tilburg University.  Such behavior, although fortunately isolated, is particularly grave for science in general, and social psychology in particular, where we assume and rely on the integrity of our colleagues. In this context we publicly acknowledge the courage of his colleagues who came forward with concerns about Diederik’s potential misconduct.

SPSP will monitor the developments in this case and take appropriate actions as necessary. The Society is closely following the formal investigations that are currently being conducted by Tilburg University and by the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Netherlands. It is important that we protect the integrity of the science but be careful to not unfairly jeopardize the careers of the many scholars and students who have worked with Diederik by reacting too hastily.We do not yet know the extent to which data were fabricated by Diederik and therefore which papers will need to be retracted.

We appreciate SPSP members’ deep concern about this issue and its broader implications.

On behalf of SPSP,
Todd Heatherton, President