The story was reported in the ultra-leftist Politico.
One of the authors of a recent study that claimed that short conversations with gay people could change minds on same-sex marriage has retracted it.
Columbia University political science professor Donald Green’s retraction this week of a popular article published in the December issue of the academic journal Science follows revelations that his co-author allegedly faked data for the study, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support of gay marriage.”
According to the academic watchdog blog Retraction Watch, Green published a retraction of the paper Tuesday after confronting co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate assistant at UCLA.
The study received widespread coverage from The New York Times, Vox, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and others when it was released in December.
“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green told the blog.
[…]The investigation into the paper began when graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, were initially impressed with the work and wanted to do an extension of it, according to a timeline of their probe posted Tuesday. When the students started a similar study, they found they were not getting the large response rate that Green and LaCour received in theirs.
[…]Qualtrics said it was not familiar with the project and “denied having the capabilities” to do some of what the survey described, according to Green, after UCLA’s political science department chair contacted the company. The graduate students also contacted a Yale political science professor to help look into the discrepancies.
After speaking with LaCour, Green told one of the graduate students and the Yale professor that the UCLA graduate assistant [Michael LaCour],had confessed to “falsely describing at least some of the details of the data collection.”
The equally leftist Washington Post is even more forceful – calling the data a complete fake.
[…]…[W]hat really happened was that the data were faked by first author LaCour. Co-author Green (my colleague at Columbia) had taken his collaborator’s data on faith; once he found out, he firmly retracted the article.
Ironically, LaCour benefited (in the short term) by his strategy of completely faking it. If he’d done the usual strategy of taking real data and stretching out the interpretation, I and others would’ve been all over him for overinterpreting his results, garden of forking paths, etc. But, by doing the Big Lie, he bypassed all those statistical concerns.
The Christian Post has an article on this that makes the faking of the data look deliberate.
According to Hughes, after Green was alerted to the irregularities, he contacted LaCour’s dissertation advisor, Professor Lynn Vavreck. After Vavreck confronted LaCour, he was unable to provide the study’s raw data and claimed he accidentally deleted the file. A representative from Qualtrics, the company that provided the survey program LaCour used, told UCLA there was no evidence that the data had been deleted.
Isn’t it amazing that the fake study was quickly picked up by the mainstream media, but none of them thought to check the data? Well, I guess it’s what they wanted to believe, and there was not even one person who thought critically about it. That’s the trouble with surrounding yourself with people who agree with you. I doubt that anyone in the mainstream media can even state the case against same-sex marriage without resorting to insults or caricatures. And that’s how these mistakes get made.
Here’s an older post that summarizes what we know from research on same-sex parenting. This post is more recent, and links to two studies – one from the UK, and one from Canada – that show that same-sex parenting does have a negative effect on children. Surprise! Moms matter. Dads matter. You can’t switch either one out without hurting the child. That’s one reason why people oppose same-sex marriage. And another is because it is not compatible with religious liberty and freedom of conscience. We’re getting more proof of that almost every day.