Back at the University of Houston in 1998 I took a Social Psychology class. One of the issues raised in this class is that of racism (among many others). For a report I had picked some reseach done by Karen Ruggiero on the feelings of minorities in deciding whether racism was a cause in their being treated negatively or not. I read all of her studies, from graduate student on up. I disagreed with her findings and felt that she was, more than anything, grandstanding and not doing anything to further science. I argued, heavily, in my paper and among my peers, that science is impartial and as such we need to be open to the idea if blacks are smarter than whites, if men are more emotional than women, and more. That to be impartial and unbiased we needed to drop the stigma, at least amongst ourselves, in doing reasearch on touchy subjects. I debated Ruggiero’s research as flawed and after an agenda and no science. However, all I had was a belief in science. I was a lowly undergrad who could not do any research on my own. That same year at the APA convention Ruggierro gave a speech on her papers. I’ve not read the speech, so I cannot comment. Yet I wanted so very badly to do research to replicate her findings, and if my feelings were correct and her research was flawed, present them at another Convention. So strongly did I believe her research flawed that I had begun to look for a sponsor for the research.
Note. I do believe that racial prejudice exists in the U.S. (and the world), but I also believe that it exists in many directions, just as much from the black to the white community at the other way around. If we are to understand it, as scientists, and learn and move on to a better society without it, we MUST be honest in our approach to it.
Now it is 2007 and I am reading the 9th Edition of a Research Methods in Behavioral Science book publshed in 2006. It is chapter three, Ethics, and I am in the Misrepresentation section that deals with plagiarism and fraud. I’ll be damned if the example given is Karen Ruggierro, citing that “suspicions of fraud arose when other researchers had difficulty replicating her published findings. The researcher subsequentially resigned from her academic position and retracted her research findings.”
That’s it… time for some Thomas Dolby.