In a survey of more than 2,000 American psychologists scheduled to be published this year, Leslie John of Harvard Business School and two colleagues found that 70 percent had acknowledged, anonymously, to cutting some corners in reporting data. About a third said they had reported an unexpected finding as predicted from the start, and about 1 percent admitted to falsifying data.
Also common is a self-serving statistical sloppiness. In an analysis
published this year, Dr. Wicherts and Marjan Bakker, also at the
University of Amsterdam, searched a random sample of 281 psychology
papers for statistical errors. They found that about half of the papers
in high-end journals contained some statistical error, and that about 15
percent of all papers had at least one error that changed a reported
finding — almost always in opposition to the authors’ hypothesis.
--Benedict Carey, NYT, on warranted skepticism about psychology research results