According to [Tilburg University's] interim report, Stapel's typical modus operandi was to team up with a student or colleague to design a study to test one of the collaborator’s own hypotheses. He would then purport to carry out the study and process the data by himself or with an unknown assistant. He then provided the processed data file – which, in reality, was often entirely fabricated – to the collaborator for analysis.It's not enough that Stapel is disgraced. The collaborators are also to blame. And look at this effort to at explaining Stapel, from Stephen Reicher, a professor in the University of St. Andrews School of Psychology:
One student who persistently requested access to the raw data was accused by the disgraced scholar of "calling his capacities and experience as a renowned professor into question." But collaborators typically regarded Stapel's processing as a "service," and the "close bonds" he often formed with them tended to minimize their suspicion. "The last thing that colleagues, staff and students would suspect is that, of all people, the department's scientific star, and faculty dean, would systematically betray that trust," the report says.
Stapel's "path to corruption" was partly a symptom of the "commodification" of the academy and the pressure to publish. "Publication becomes an end in itself. You don’t have to believe in what you found, you just have to get it out," [Reicher] said. "You become more Machiavellian in how you [do that]: it is a slippery slope."It's nice that this psychologists have a hypothesis about the psychology of the corruption of psychologists. Maybe they could design a study to test it.