The author of a now-discredited psychology and gay marriage study is in more hot water over another paper he published, some of which he may have made up.
On Thursday, the journal that initially published UCLA grad student Michael LaCour’s high-profile study, which claimed that opponents of gay marriage could be convinced to support it after a single conversation with someone who identifies as gay, officially retracted it. Earlier this month, two graduate students who followed up on LaCour’s findings revealed that data used in the study were essentially non-existent.
In that study, called “The Echo Chambers Are Empty,” LaCour cites data that allegedly shows that, contrary to popular belief, most politically partisan people consume centrist, rather than ideologically slanted, media. Martin flagged the study when he tried to replicate it using LaCour’s data and found that many of the data sets LaCour used were nonexistent or incomplete.
“Simply put, despite using the same dataset of news show transcripts and implementing the same method described in his paper, my results are not at all comparable to LaCour’s,” Martin wrote in a paper disputing LaCour’s findings.
“LaCour’s text-based measures of news show ideology reported in ‘The Echo Chambers Are Empty’ are very likely fabricated.”
After LaCour sent Martin his data, Martin claims that he could not find key data sets where LaCour claimed that they existed. Several talk radio shows such as The Savage Nation, which LaCour supposedly documented and quantified to measure partisanship, were not in the UCLA databases where LaCour said that they were. LaCour also cites transcripts from shows like Real Time with Bill Maher from 2006, but Martin points out that the UCLA library only has transcripts for those shows starting in 2008.
LaCour recently said he plans to address the controversy on Friday, but he has not publically released any information refuting allegations that he made up information in the studies. LaCour did not return Business Insider’s request for comment.
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