Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spouses do not grow more alike, study finds

Date:
August 25, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Contrary to popular belief, married couples do not become more similar over time, according to new research.

Contrary to popular belief, married couples do not become more similar over time. Instead, people tend to pick their spouse based on shared personality traits.
Credit: iStockphoto

Contrary to popular belief, married couples do not become more similar over time, according to a team of researchers led by Michigan State University.

Related Articles


Instead, people tend to pick their spouse based on shared personality traits, the researchers report in the latest issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

"Existing research shows that spouses are more similar than random people," said Mikhila Humbad, lead investigator. "This could reflect spouses' influence on each other over time, or this could be what attracted them to each other in the first place. Our goal in conducting this study was to help resolve this debate."

The researchers analyzed the data of 1,296 married couples, one of the largest such studies to date, said Humbad, MSU doctoral candidate in clinical psychology. The data came from the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research.

The researchers wanted to know if husbands and wives become more similar as the marriage progressed. They examined a host of personality characteristics and found that, in most cases, the couples did not become more alike with more years of marriage.

The conclusion: Spousal similarity is better explained by selection than gradual convergence.

The one exception to this pattern was aggression. "It makes sense if you think about it," Humbad said. "If one person is violent, the other person may respond in a similar fashion and thus become more aggressive over time."

The research could have implications for future spouses as well as their offspring. "Marrying someone who's similar to you may increase the likelihood that you'll pass those traits on to your children," Humbad said.

The findings also come amid the backdrop of a booming matchmaking industry in which companies attempt to match people based on similar characteristics, she noted.

The research team also included M. Brent Donnellan and S. Alexandra Burt from the MSU Department of Psychology and William G. Iacono and Matthew McGue from the University of Minnesota.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Spouses do not grow more alike, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825131614.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, August 25). Spouses do not grow more alike, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825131614.htm
Michigan State University. "Spouses do not grow more alike, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825131614.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins