Hauser Slated to Return to Harvard in the Fall

Harvard Psychology Professor Marc D. Hauser, who was found “solely responsible” for eight instances of scientific misconduct by an internal University investigation last August, is slated to return to Harvard this fall after a one-year leave of absence.

Psychology Department Chair Susan E. Carey ’64 declined to elaborate on the capacity in which he will be serving in the department when he returns.

Hauser—whose research focuses on cognitive function in primates—took a leave of absence this academic year after a three-year long University investigation found that three of his published articles needed to be corrected or retracted.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith wrote in a letter to the Faculty on Aug. 20 that the “appropriate sanctions” Hauser could face include “involuntary leave, the imposition of additional oversight on a faculty member’s research lab, and appropriately severe restrictions on a faculty member’s ability to apply for research grants, to admit graduate students, and to supervise undergraduate research.”

In September, Hauser said he would continue to maintain control of his William James Hall laboratory during his year of absence.

The lab runs experiments on the psychology of dogs, moral judgments in adults, and economic decision making in children.

At the time, FAS spokesperson Jeff Neal said that Smith had established additional oversight on the lab.

Hauser has also been working on his book “Evilicious: Explaining Our Evolved Taste for Being Bad,” which traces the origins of the human desire to do evil.

Hauser was unavailable for comment for this story.

Last year, Hauser, who has won several awards for his teaching, received a Q score of 4.93 out of 5 from the students in his 15-person Psychology 2381 course.

One student said in the Q report that the class was the best at Harvard.

—Staff writer Julia L. Ryan can be reached at

—Staff writer Kevin J. Wu can be reached at

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction.


The April 20 story "Hauser Slated to Return to Harvard in the Fall" incorrectly stated that Psychology Professor Marc D. Hauser will be teaching during the 2011-2012 academic year. While an earlier version of the course catalogue stated that Hauser would teach two courses next spring, the Psychology Department voted to deny Hauser permission to teach, according to the Boston Globe.


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