Fraud in many science surveys?


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The uncertainty of science: An analysis of scientific surveys suggests that one in five may contain fake data.

With few exceptions, they limited their analysis to studies that asked more than 1000 people at least 75 questions on a range of topics. And to be conservative, they forgave studies for which at least 95% of the data passed the test.

That made the results all the more worrying: Among 1008 surveys, their test flagged 17% as likely to contain a significant portion of fabricated data. For surveys conducted in wealthy westernized nations, that figure drops to 5%, whereas for those done in the developing world it shoots up to 26%.

To me the difference found between first and third world countries makes the results more believable. It suggests that survey companies who do these surveys have a problem that should be addressed. Instead, the research

is being hotly disputed by the Pew Research Center, one of the major funders of such surveys. And the organization has gone so far as to request the researchers desist from publishing their work.

Pew reviewed the questionable surveys and found evidence that the analysis produced some false positives. They used this as reason to reject its results entirely. That the analysis has also been successful in detecting fraud in several surveys apparently does not concern them.

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