At the request of the Editor of Psychological Science and Sage Publications, the following article has been retracted:
Gino, F., Kouchaki, M., & Galinsky, A. D. (2015). The moral virtue of authenticity: How inauthenticity produces feelings of immorality and impurity. Psychological Science, 26(7), 983–996.
The Journal Editor was contacted by the Research Integrity Office of the Harvard Business School (HBS) regarding the outcome of an internal investigation their office conducted into the data reported in this article. Based on the investigation, they recommended retraction of the article. An independent forensic firm engaged by the HBS revealed discrepancies between the published data sets and what HBS described as the “original data for Study 4 gathered using Qualtrics,” retrieved from the first author’s research records. HBS’s investigation concluded that there appear to be anomalies in the dataset used for analyses in Experiment 4:
(a) There are inconsistencies between the data in three data files associated with Experiment 4. Two data files (labeled LAB and ONLINE) were obtained from Dr. Gino’s research records; the third data file was retrieved from the Open Science Framework (OSF; https://osf.io/sd76g), where it has been posted since 2015. An amalgamation of the LAB and ONLINE data sets appears to be the source of the OSF dataset. However, some participant data are included in the LAB and/or ONLINE data files that are not in the OSF data file. Other participant data are included in the OSF data file but are not included in the LAB and/or ONLINE data files. No clear inclusion and/or exclusion criteria appear to have been applied to explain the differences.
(b) When the combined LAB and ONLINE data sets were re-analyzed using the authors’ protocols found on the OSF site, the key result of the experiment did not replicate. In the published article, participants in a high-choice, proattitudinal condition (they were asked, but not directly instructed, to write essays consistent with their internal beliefs) were reported as have significantly lower desire for cleansing products (M = 3.72) than participants in both high-choice, counterattitudinal (M = 4.18) and low-choice, counterattitudinal (M = 4.34) conditions (Table 3, p. 992). However, when the combined data were re-analyzed, the means were no longer statistically significantly different (Ms = 4.03, 4.11, and 4.19, respectively. As such, there was no longer support for the major finding of the experiment, that “When participants wrote essays that were not consistent with their internal beliefs, regardless of choice, they showed a greater desire for cleanliness” (p. 993).
Counsel for the first author informed the journal that whereas Dr. Gino viewed the retraction as necessary, she disagreed with references to original data, stating that “there is no original data available” pertaining to the research reported in the article. Although to our knowledge, anomalies in the data are specific to Experiment 4 of the article (of five experiments), the Editor decided to retract the article because the experiment in question is integral to the overall conclusions from the research. All authors agreed to the decision to retract.
Patricia J. Bauer
Editor in Chief
Editor in Chief