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Only the Congruent Survive: Personality Similarities in Couples

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Beatrice Rammstedt, Jürgen Schupp

In: Personality and Individual Differences 45 (2008), 6, S. 533-535


Numerous studies proved that people tend to select partners that are similar to them with regard to many social and psychological variables. Even though this effect was also found for personality, results are inconsistent and reveal convergence coefficients ranging from negative over zero- to positive correlations. The present study thus aims to investigate personality congruence between spouses and to examine (a) which dimensions show a high degree of congruence and which do not and (b) in how far this congruence is moderated by the marriage duration. Analyses were based on 6,909 couples who are representative for the German adult population. Results reveal that among the Big Five dimensions, there are strong differences in spouses' congruences. While for Extraversion and Emotional Stability, congruence is close to zero, correlations averaging at .30 are found for Agreeableness. Conscientiousness, and Openness. The spouses' congruences in these three dimensions also increase over marriage duration from a mean of r = .22 to r = .40.

Jürgen Schupp

Senior Research Fellow in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Topics: Personality, Family