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Home Education Exclusive: ‘Bust Size and Hitchhiking’ author to earn four more expressions of concern

Exclusive: ‘Bust Size and Hitchhiking’ author to earn four more expressions of concern

by moneylab

The journal Social Influence will be issuing expressions of concern for four papers by Nicholas Guéguen, a marketing researcher whose work has long been dogged by allegations, Retraction Watch has learned.

Guéguen has to date has lost at least three papers to retraction, and has received many more expressions of concern, for his questionable studies. However, his institution, the Université de Bretagne-Sud, cleared him of wrongdoing in 2019.

Guéguen made a name for himself for his quirky studies – often about human sexuality – like one purporting to find women with bigger breasts were more likely to be successful hitchhikers; and one which claimed to find men with guitar cases are more attractive to women. (The first of those articles has an expression of concern; the second was retracted in 2020.)

The four new expressions of concern involve these articles which the journal, a Taylor & Francis title, published between 2007 and 2015:

According to an email from journal editor in chief Ilja van Beest that was seen by Retraction Watch, the notices for all four articles will read:

Taylor & Francis and the Editor-in-Chief of Social Influence, Prof. dr. Ilja van Beest, have been made aware of scientific concerns regarding the integrity of research published by Dr. Nicholas Guéguen. The Editorial team conducted a rigorous review of all work published by Dr. Nicholas Guéguen in Social Influence and have significant concerns regarding four articles [listed below]. Concerns are related but not limited to reliability of data, ethical consent and replicability of findings.

Together with the journal’s editorial team, Taylor & Francis are conducting an investigation into these articles. Due to a lack of response from Dr. Nicholas Guéguen these investigations remain open. This Expression of Concern will remain until investigations are judged to be complete by the Publisher.

Guéguen has not responded to a request for comment.

Nick Brown, a data sleuth who with James Heathers has been calling critical attention to Guéguen’s work for years – including the four articles in Social Influence – said he was:

pleased to see that four of the articles that this author published in Social Influence are being flagged with Expressions of Concern, and I am particularly glad to learn the investigation  into them is not over. I hope that retractions will follow, and that the journal will also investigate the 10 other articles (co-)authored by Guéguen that it has published, most of which suffer from the same problems as these four.

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