The last few years have seen a series of archival analyses in which psychologists have revisited the records kept by researchers, documenting their experience of carrying out classic studies. Perhaps the best-known example is Gina Perry’s analysis of Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies (see, for example, Perry et al. 2019 and Psychology Review, Vol. 20, No. 1).
Cahalan and Perry both document disparities between papers published by Rosenhan and Milgram respectively and the researchers’ personal notes documenting what happened when they conducted the studies. In both cases these disparities are serious enough to question both the conclusions of the study in question and the character of the researcher. There is a sense of real disappointment and even betrayal running through Cahalan’s article.
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