Even with my various “grey” methods for “improving” the data, I wasn’t able to get the results the way I wanted them. I couldn’t resist the temptation to go a step further. I wanted it so badly …

I opened the file with the data that I had entered and changed an unexpected 2 into a 4; then, a little further along, I changed a 3 into a 5. It didn’t feel right.

fake-dataI looked around me nervously. The data danced in front of my eyes. When the results are just not quite what you’d so badly hoped for … when you know that there are other people doing similar research elsewhere who are getting good results; then, surely, you’re entitled to adjust the results just a little?

No. I clicked on “Undo Typing.” And again. I felt very alone. I didn’t want this. I’d worked so hard. I’d done everything I could and it just hadn’t quite worked out the way I’d expected. It just wasn’t quite how everyone could see that it logically had to be … I looked at the array of data and made a few mouse clicks to tell the computer to run the statistical analyses. When I saw the results, the world had become logical again. I saw what I’d imagined.

Diederik Stapel