I vaguely remember some PSY master’s student at CSULB getting into a shitstorm of trouble because she used bullshit data for a study. I was taking a stats class in PSY at the time. So, the incident was sort-of in my face. Plus, I was an avid consumer of the Daily 49er, and that controversy filled several front pages during that semester. I believe it was the spring of 1989?
As I remember it, the student ended up being kicked out of CSULB, and that’s really bad. To go to so much trouble in the lead up to conducting a study only to lose it all is about as bad as things can get. You walk away with no credential. Your credibility is damaged. The opportunity cost is huge.
Grad students must maintain objectivity when conducting a study. The point of a thesis is not to prove a point. It is to make statements of fact based on solid data. That’s it! It doesn’t matter what one believes. The goal is to seek objective truth.