Commentary to part VII

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Faking by a collaborator-whether long-distance or nearby, powerful or subordinate (assistant, student)-is a betrayal. Data collection requires trust: trust in the participant to follow directions and respond as faithfully as possible, trust in the data collector, and trust in the data manager. When someone violates this trust, we feel justifiably betrayed and offended. The betrayal is most acute when the fabricator is a collaborator, someone who seemed to be on the same team, sharing the same goals, but who in fact rejected those goals for more self-serving or personally expedient goals. In most instances here, the betrayal of the field as a whole, rather than personal animus, motivated the authors to confront the suspected perpetrator and notify relevant authorities, where possible-clearly the right thing to do as an individual investigator responsible for the integrity of data we report. How can we defend ourselves as a field? The fraud was discovered in each instance, first, by downstream collaborators’ attention to unusual data patterns, vigilance in investigating them, openness to reporting them, and willingness to withdraw suspect data. All these reactions are difficult because each flies in the face of human nature: We are set to believe what we see, eager to find answers, predisposed to trust collaborators, and committed to our time investments, not to mention our public pronouncements. As scientists, we must challenge our own human predispositions to accept appearances and to go with the flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEthical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781139626491
ISBN (Print)9781107039735
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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