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Fernando Ardenghi

Dear Mr. Brooks:



Perhaps this could help!!!

Extracted from

Page #19 of PDF whitepaper
Page #322 of magazine


Couple Similarity and Marital Quality

Our study presents one of the most comprehensive examinations of the similarity–satisfaction link. The observed similarity–satisfaction correlations suggest that similarity on personality related domains was strongly associated with satisfaction, whereas similarity on attitude-related domains was not. This is an intriguing pattern of findings when considered in conjunction with the just reviewed assortative mating results: Spouses showed substantial similarity on attitude-related domains, but this similarity does not appear to be related to satisfaction; spouses were no more similar than randomly paired couples on personality-related domains, but this similarity appears to be important to satisfaction.
People may be attracted to those who have similar attitudes, values, and beliefs and even marry them (at least in part) on the basis of this similarity. However, once individuals are in a committed relationship, it may be primarily personality similarity that influences marital happiness. This suggests that attitude and value similarity may play a different role in relationship development than personality similarity does. For example, whereas similarity in attitudes and values appears to be important early on in the relationship and may play an important role in relationship progression, personality similarity becomes more important as the relationship reaches greater commitment. Our empirical findings and this proposition are certainly consistent with “filter” or “process” theories of relationship development (e.g., Kerckhoff & Davis, 1962; Murstein, 1980) that hold that patterns of similarity and complementarity on different individual-difference domains play differential roles at different points in the relationship development process.
As discussed above, there are several reasons (visibility, salience, and psychological reward value) why similarity in terms of attitudes and values may influence individuals’ partner choices early in the relationship. However, given the substantial variances in value and attitude similarity we observed, it appears that not everybody is paired with a spouse who holds similar attitudes and values. Because of the visibility and saliency of attitudes and values, it is very likely that partners who are not similar on these domains are nevertheless aware of these differences from the outset and yet chose to marry each other anyway. It thus appears likely that attitudinal and value differences, when they exist, are part of a conscious decision to stay together on the basis of other
important considerations. Personality-related characteristics, on the other hand, take much longer to be known and to be accurately perceived. Thus, they are not likely to play a more substantial role until later in the relationship development process. However, once individuals are in a committed relationship, it is difficult to ignore personality differences, because being in a committed relationship entails regular interaction and requires extensive coordination in dealing with the tasks, issues, and problems of daily living.
Whereas personality similarity is likely to facilitate this process, personality differences may result in more friction and conflict in daily life. We currently do not have the data to examine these ideas; however, because of the importance of these issues to marital success and failure, future research designed to better understand these underlying processes is needed.


Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

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