Diederik Stapel

Diederik Stapel (born 19 October 1966 in Oegstgeest) is a former professor of social psychology at Tilburg University and before that at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2011 Tilburg University suspended Stapel, pending further investigation, for fabricating and manipulating data for his research publications. This scientific misconduct lasted for years and affected at least 30 publications.


  • Ik heb de fout gemaakt dat ik de waarheid naar mijn hand heb willen zetten en de wereld net iets mooier wilde maken dan hij is.
    • I made the mistake that I wanted to manipulate the truth and make the world just a little more beautiful than it is.
      • Stapel's own statement in De Volkskrant on 31 October 2011.
  • Als ik slimmer was geweest, had ik regelmatig onderzoek Iaten mislukken. Dat was realistischer, rationeler en sluwer geweest. Maar dat kon ik niet. Ik was een junkie geworden.
    • If I had been smarter then I would have let research fail regularly. That would have been more realistic, more rational and more cunning. But I could not do that. I had become a junkie.
    • From his memoirs: "Ontsporing" (English, "Derailment") Nov. 2012, page 175
  • About replication. See replication crisis. From the authorized english translation by Nicholas J.L. Brown available as a free download in PDF format
    • Clearly, there was something in the recipe for the X effect that I was missing. But what? I decided to ask the experts, the people who’d found the X effect and published lots of articles about it [..] My colleagues from around the world sent me piles of instructions, questionnaires, papers, and software [..] In most of the packages there was a letter, or sometimes a yellow Post-It note stuck to the bundle of documents, with extra instructions: “Don’t do this test on a computer. We tried that and it doesn’t work. It only works if you use pencil-and-paper forms.” “This experiment only works if you use ‘friendly’ or ‘nice’. It doesn’t work with ‘cool’ or ‘pleasant’ or ‘fine’. I don’t know why.” “After they’ve read the newspaper article, give the participants something else to do for three minutes. No more, no less. Three minutes, otherwise it doesn’t work.” “This questionnaire only works if you administer it to groups of three to five people. No more than that.” I certainly hadn’t encountered these kinds of instructions and warnings in the articles and research reports that I’d been reading. This advice was informal, almost under-the-counter, but it seemed to be a necessary part of developing a successful experiment. Had all the effect X researchers deliberately omitted this sort of detail when they wrote up their work for publication? I don’t know.
      • From his memoirs: "Ontsporing" (English, "Derailment") Nov. 2012

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