UCLA Professor Refuses to Cover for Dan Ariely in Issue of Data Provenance

In one of the more bizarre twists of the Dan Ariely saga, there is a huge issue of provenance in one of Dan Ariely’s studies. The study in question is Dan Ariely’s Ten Commandments study at JMR. The hugely impactful paper has over 3,000 citations but unfortunately failed to replicate in a large-scale systematic replication project. The person who Ariely claims ran the study for him at UCLA, Professor Aimee Drolet Rossi, has no recollection of running the study for him at all. That would be fine if she just couldn’t remember, but there are two more relevant facts:

  1. Dan Ariely was a super star even at that time so it would have been very memorable if she had collected data for him.
  2. The data for Ariely’s Ten Commandments study, the study in question, could not have come out of the generating process used by the subject pool Drolet Rossi managed at that time.

Unfortunately for Ariely, the Israeli press won’t let the issue die and has been digging into this issue of provenance rather deeply. This has led to two things:

  1. Dan Ariely pressuring Rossi to cover for him
  2. Aimee Drolet Rossi posting their email exchanges to EJMR

According to Aimee Drolet Rossi, the other two authors, On Amir and Nina Mazar have claimed to not remember where the data came from (though one of the emails below seems to possibly involve On Amir as claiming to receive the data in the exchange that never happened). That means one of the most cited studies in the history of Journal of Marketing Research is completely lacking in provenance. The trail stops at Dan Ariely but his story that it was run at UCLA does not check out.

Here are all of the emails that I could gather from the EJMR thread. They should be clickable to zoom in on the a bit if needed:

August 2021

June 2022

2nd half of the message above


2 responses to “UCLA Professor Refuses to Cover for Dan Ariely in Issue of Data Provenance”

  1. anon Avatar

    Your post seems to be missing the last response in the EJMR thread, which is rather crucial to understanding what happened. It can be seen by scrolling to the bottom here:


    It says:


    Posting from home computer.

    Aimee Drolet Rossi
    Mon, Dec 6, 2022, 11:01 PM
    to Dan, Nina, On

    Hi On, Dan, and Nina:

    Correcting what I wrote earlier, I believe I now know what happened. I did not collect data for you, but my RA did. I have found the dataset, but it still does not fit the parameters that you report in your paper. Please find the Excel dataset attached to this e-mail.


    Professor Aimee Drolet Rossi
    UCLA Anderson School”

    1. Aaron Charlton Avatar

      I didn’t post that one because it’s fake. I only posted the emails that were added to EJMR by Aimee Drolet Rossi.

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