A few quick questions on this famous sociological study:
1.) I heard that Alvin Gouldner beat up Laud Humphreys. But I’ve heard two stories: (a) Gouldner was mad about Humphrey’s dissertation, or (b) Gouldner was mad about a poster that Humphreys had put up around the department about him that made fun of him as a bird. Anyone know the truth? [update: here is the NYTimes piece on this, from 1968: 77178200]
2.) I have heard that Humphreys’ assertion that he used license plates to track down participants was in fact a lie. He knew many of these guys more closely than he let on, and he used the license plate story as a cover for this. Anyone know the truth?
3.) I heard that Humphreys was not granted a PhD from Washington University and that his dissertation caused half the department to leave and was the root of why that university no longer has a department. Truth?
I’m filling in for a colleague this afternoon on ethics and research. The syllabus has Humphreys on it (and a great piece by Geertz, “Life Among the Anthros“. Re-reading Humphreys brought back these rumors. So I’m just curious.