Birds of a feather do flock together: behavior-based personality-assessment method reveals personality similarity among couples and friends
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Wu, Y., Schwartz, A., Stillwell, D., & Kosinski, M. (2017). Birds of a feather do flock together: behavior-based personality-assessment method reveals personality similarity among couples and friends. Psychological Science https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797616678187
Friends and spouses tend to be similar in a broad range of characteristics, such as age, educational level, race, religion, attitudes, and general intelligence. Surprisingly, little evidence has been found for similarity in personality-one of the most fundamental psychological constructs. We argue that the lack of evidence for personality similarity stems from the tendency of individuals to make personality judgments relative to a salient comparison group, rather than in absolute terms (i.e., the reference-group effect), when responding to the self-report and peer-report questionnaires commonly used in personality research. We employed two behavior-based personality measures to circumvent the reference-group effect. The results based on large samples provide evidence for personality similarity between romantic partners ( n = 1,101; rs = .20-.47) and between friends ( n = 46,483; rs = .12-.31). We discuss the practical and methodological implications of the findings.
similarity, personality assessment, reference-group effect, social network, close relationships
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797616678187
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/262753