MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Fake Science: Background information when reading The Great Pretender

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The Great Pretender

The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan X
The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2019, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2020, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Herschbach
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About this Book

Fake Science

This article relates to The Great Pretender

The Stanford Prison Experiment In The Great Pretender, former New York Post investigative reporter Susannah Cahalan uncovers evidence that Stanford University psychologist David Rosenhan fabricated at least some of the details in his famous 1973 paper "On Being Sane in Insane Places."

If true, this certainly wouldn't have been the only time a high profile researcher's work has turned out to be flawed or even downright fraudulent. A particularly brazen example is that of repeat offender Diederik Stapel, a former professor of social psychology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Stapel rose to prominence in his field with a series of studies that gained media attention around the world. One study purportedly showed that carnivores are more selfish than vegetarians. Another claimed to show a correlation between dirty, trash-filled environments and racist attitudes. His fame came crashing down in 2011, however, when the university determined that he had been faking his data. So far, a whopping 58 of his ...

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