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Scholar Who Studies Honesty Accused of Dishonesty

Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, a leader in the field of behavioral science, and co-author of dozens of papers in peer-reviewed journals, has been charged with falsifying data.

In a 2012 paper Gino and her collaborators reported that "asking people who fill out tax or insurance documents to attest to the truth of their responses at the top of the document, rather than at the bottom, significantly increased the accuracy of the information they provided." The paper has been cited hundreds of times by other scholars.

But recently, three behavioral scientists, analyzing data that Dr. Gino and her co-authors had posted online, cited a digital record contained within an Excel file to demonstrate that some of the data points had been tampered with, and that the tampering helped drive the result.

Harvard has placed Gino on administrative leave.

Possible Preaching Angles:

1) Employees; Students - We must all be careful of claiming another’s work as our own (especially in the age of AI) or of modifying the facts to prove our point. 2) Pastor; Preacher - The preacher must also beware of dishonesty when preaching. Using someone else’s sermon or personal illustration as your own is a temptation many fall into.

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