Jonah Lehrer and the Debate Over Self-Plagiarism

by Shawn O'Rourke

11 July 2012

Man takes a look at himself in the mirror. Image from Shutterstock.com

On 19 June journalist and media blogger Jim Romenesko posted a short piece on his website detailing how writer and author Jonah Lehrer had apparently recycled portions of a recent article for The New Yorker from an essay that had he had previously written for the The Wall Street Journal. Comparisons between “Why Smart People Are Stupid” and “The Science of Irrationality”, revealed that both pieces begin with three essentially identical opening paragraphs.

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