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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published November 4, 2014.

For numerous reasons, I am a slow writer. I don’t type. Though a nuanced writer, I do not naturally dictate into software like Dragon Dictate. I’ve never had a secretary. I am a prodigious reader (and have been criticized for reading too much to delay writing). I revise multiple times to find just the right word, tone, and feeling (This is version 21 of this short piece!). I am interested in so many different things—and, therefore, easily distracted from the task at hand (yesterday, I was distracted from writing by reflecting on digital counterparts!). I have no solid external incentive to write (I am tenured and intrinsically motivated). Are these excuses or reasons?

I am having quite a bit of difficulty writing this piece—and have had that difficulty for the past three years when my identity with my discipline of social psychology became disrupted and unsettled. In my Experimental Social Psychology class for the past three years, I have been sharing with students a case study of the influential career of European social psychologist Diederik Stapel. May I never be so famous that

  1. my biography is regularly updated in Wikipedia,
  2. my story is featured in the New York Times,
  3. A commission evaluates my entire career’s work,
  4. I’m featured on a TED train special,
  5. and my work is regularly condemned on Retraction Watch.

I have invited my students to share their reactions to this case study for the past two years. Before “publishing them” in a blog piece, I was interested in whether Diederik might be interested in seeing them. Thank you, Diederik, for replying and sharing some of your experiences over the past three years.

I am left struggling with the questions of at what point ostracism is unwarranted and forgiveness, or a variant of compassion, is warranted. At what point does ostracism degenerate into a witch hunt? How can one acknowledge and condemn wrong behavior (never forget) and yet not engage in destructive behavior by failing to allow an individual to show that they have learned from their inappropriate behavior?

I have much to contemplate.