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Psychologist's defense challenged

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Science  30 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6187, pp. 957-958
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6187.957

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Social psychologist Jens Förster has vigorously fought back against recent charges that some of his results are so statistically improbable that they could only have resulted from data manipulation. But a key element of his defense has also exposed Förster, who recently resigned from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), to a new line of attack. E-mails reviewed by Science call into question his assertion that some of the studies at the heart of the controversy were not conducted recently at UvA but were done much earlier in Germany over a decadelong period ending in 2008. E-mails between Förster and a UvA colleague discuss how to conduct various aspects of some of those studies—yet the e-mails were sent in May 2009, undercutting Förster's timeline.

  • * Frank van Kolfschooten is a freelance writer in Amsterdam and the author of two books on scientific misconduct.