Do people think that scientists are bad people? The psychology of science is concerned with evaluations of science, and so also with evaluations of scientists. Our research shows that attitudes towards scientists are ambivalent. Initial work indicates that scientists are perceived as not inherently immoral, but as capable of immoral conduct. However, this crucially depends on how (im-)morality is defined. More recent work takes a more fine-grained approach by zooming in on evaluations of various types of scientists.
Gligorić, V., van Kleef, G. A., & Rutjens, B. T. (2022). Social evaluations of scientific occupations. Scientific Reports, 12, 18339. [link]
Rutjens, B. T., Niehoff, E., & Heine, S. J. (2022). The (im-)moral scientist? Measurement and framing effects shape the association between scientists and immorality. PLoS ONE,17(10): e0274379. [link]
Rutjens, B. T., & Heine, S. J. (2016). The immoral landscape? Scientists are associated with violations of morality. PLoS ONE, 11(4): e0152798 [link]