by KEITH GRIFFITH at dailymail.co.uk
Harvard University has sought the retraction of at least three papers co-authored by a behavioral scientist who studies dishonesty, after the scholar was accused of fabricating data to bolster her findings.
Professor Francesca Gino remains on administrative leave from Harvard Business School, where she had been a rising star until the explosive allegations first emerged last month.
In public notices published last week, the journal Psychological Science retracted two articles by Gino, saying it had acted on the recommendation of the Research Integrity Office at Harvard Business School (HBS).
In both cases, the journal said an independent forensic firm engaged by HBS had discovered ‘discrepancies’ between the published data sets and earlier data sets from Gino’s behavioral experiments.
Separately, Harvard has requested that the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology withdraw a third study by Gino, and the journal’s publishers plan to retract the article in the September issue, the Financial Times reported.
All three papers, as well as a fourth co-authored by Gino that was previously retracted in 2021, were accused of using falsified data in a series of blog posts authored by three scientists on Data Colada.
The trio published their concerns a day after the Chronicle of Higher Education reported on June 16 that Gino had been placed on administrative leave, amid an internal investigation at Harvard into the validity of her research.
Gino did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening, and a spokesperson for Harvard Business School declined to comment.
The two studies newly retracted by Psychological Science were a 2015 paper titled ‘The Moral Virtue of Authenticity: How Inauthenticity Produces Feelings of Immorality and Impurity’ and a 2014 paper titled ‘Evil Genius? How Dishonesty Can Lead to Greater Creativity.’
The 2020 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology which is slated for retraction was titled ‘Why Connect? Moral Consequences of Networking with a Promotion or Prevention Focus.’
The paper titled ‘Evil Genius’ involved five separate lab experiments with human volunteers, who were given the opportunity to behave dishonestly by overreporting their performance on various tasks, and then measured on creative tasks.
The article purported to demonstrate that ‘acting dishonestly leads to greater creativity in subsequent tasks,’ according to the original abstract.
‘An investigation by an independent forensic firm engaged by the HBS revealed discrepancies between the published data sets and what HBS referred to as the earliest known versions of the data, which were retrieved from the first author’s research records,’ the paper’s retraction notice said.read more