Task 2

Investigating factors that promote integrity in research or favour misconduct

The goal of task 2 is to investigate factors that promote integrity in research or favor misconduct based on what is known or unknown concerning the general causes of scientific misconduct and why particular individuals depart from appropriate behavior.


➔ Subtask 2.1

Assessing the limits of empirical studies and causal analysis, and tuning the institutional discourses accordingly 

This subtask is devoted to a reflexive analysis concerning the origins of misconduct and the difficulties of documenting individual cases of integrity violations and submitting them to sound causal analysis. This methodological issue is a direct concern to adopt well-grounded policies to foster integrity. We plan to investigate how, even without knowing individual causes of integrity violation, it remains possible to investigate factors, aspects, or contexts that favor or disfavor misconduct and to provide clues about adapted policies at the individual or collective level.


➔ Subtask 2.2

Investigating individual decisions with behavioral economics 

We will rely on identity economics, behavioral economics, and law & economics to empirically evaluate policy levers, such as codes of conduct and ethics teaching, which can favor scientific integrity without necessitating detection. Indeed, why would researchers respect the rules of integrity if they do not risk being caught in case of misconduct? We plan to draw on similar analyses about lawyers and experiments in behavioral economics based on cheating games.


➔ Subtask 2.3

Investigating contextual factors with social epistemology 

We will use the tools of social and formal epistemology. We will rely on agent-based models to investigate factors and mechanisms favoring or disfavoring deviant behavior and to provide clues about which RI policies may be beneficial. More specifically, we will draw on already studied models representing the investigation of drugs by medical practitioners and versatile enough to investigate the combined effects of evidence-driven methods, individual biases, and institutional factors.


➔ Subtask 2.4

Investigating the constitution of problematic behaviour with the sociology of deviance 

We will elaborate on existing knowledge within the sociology of deviance, which highlights that individual misconduct can only be understood as deviant by reference to the group that establishes the corresponding norms of behavior. This paves the way to understand better at the collective level the constitution of problematic behavior and the social labeling of designated scientists as deviant.