University of Cambridge > > Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars > Do romantic partners or friends have similar personality after all?

Do romantic partners or friends have similar personality after all?

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Friends and spouses tend to be similar in a broad range of characteristics (i.e. homophily), such as age, educational level, attitudes, values, 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 homophily derives from the tendency of individuals to make personality judgments in relation to a salient comparison group rather than in absolute terms when responding to the self-report and peer-report questionnaires commonly used in personality research (i.e. reference-group effect). We address this limitation by employing personality measures based on behavior and language that are resistant to this bias. Results provide evidence for a strong personality homophily between romantic partners and between friends. This finding highlights the limitations pertinent to traditional questionnaire measure.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars series.

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