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Retraction of Blanton and Stapel (2008). Unconscious and spontaneous and…complex: the three selves model of social comparison assimilation and contrast.

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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104(1):198 (2013) PMID 23316923

Reports the retraction of "Unconscious and spontaneous and...Complex: The three selves model of social comparison assimilation and contrast" by Hart Blanton and Diederik A. Stapel (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008[Jun], Vol 94[6], 1018-1032). This retraction follows the results of an investigation into the work of Diederik A. Stapel. The Levelt Committee has determined data supplied by Diederik A. Stapel to be fraudulent. His co-author was unaware of his actions and was not involved in the collection of the fraudulent data. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2008-06135-007.) Several theoretical perspectives predict that social comparisons lead to simple, default-driven effects when triggered outside of conscious awareness. These theoretical perspectives differ, however, in the default effects they predict. Some theories argue for self-evaluative contrast, whereas others argue for self-evaluative assimilation. The current studies tested the prediction that the default effect would vary as a function of the social context and the type of self-concept activated. When attention was focused on the personal self, contrast effects emerged. When attention was focused on collective or possible selves, assimilation effects emerged. These findings suggest that a wide range of comparison effects can be triggered spontaneously and outside of conscious awareness. However, some results also show ways in which social comparison processes simplify when deliberate reflection is lacking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

DOI: 10.1037/a0031266