Scientific inbreeding and same-team replication: type D personality as an example

J Psychosom Res. 2012 Dec;73(6):408-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.09.014. Epub 2012 Oct 6.


Replication is essential for validating correct results, sorting out false-positive early discoveries, and improving the accuracy and precision of estimated effects. However, some types of seemingly successful replication may foster a spurious notion of increased credibility, if they are performed by the same team and propagate or extend the same errors made by the original discoveries. Besides same-team replication, replication by other teams may also succumb to inbreeding, if it cannot fiercely maintain its independence. These patterns include obedient replication and obliged replication. I discuss these replication patterns in the context of associations and effects in the psychological sciences, drawing from the criticism of Coyne and de Voogd of the proposed association between type D personality and cardiovascular mortality and other empirical examples.

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Biomedical Research / methods
  • Biomedical Research / standards
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology
  • Humans
  • Personality*
  • Reproducibility of Results*