Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Language of love: Matching conjunctions, pronouns could spell a match better than good looks and fast cars

Date:
February 26, 2014
Source:
Texas Tech University
Summary:
People who use the same kinds of function words are more likely to find a match, a researcher suggests. After analyzing speed dating results, researchers discovered a positive correlation of function-word similarity with speed-daters’ odds of going on a second date and long-term couples’ odds of still being together three months after the study. Language similarity became an even better predictor of relationship stability when compared to other related variables, such as the perceived similarity with one’s date, perceived relationship quality, and how many words people spoke to each other during each conversation.

Conjunction junction, what’s your function? Hooking up people using similar phrases, according to one Texas Tech University researcher.

Molly Ireland, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Psychology who studies human dialogue, said people who use the same kinds of function words are more likely to find a match.

Function words include personal pronouns such as he, she, it, articles such as “a” “an” or “the” and conjunctions such as and, or, but and nor.

Rich Slatcher at Wayne State University and James Pennebaker and Paul Eastwick at University of Texas at Austin also participated in the study.

“Conversations between romantic partners make up some of the most important dialogue in most adults' lives,” Ireland said. “Romantic relationships have a huge influence on our health and well-being, and I think that conversation is a big part of what makes those relationships succeed or fail at every stage -- from first dates to marriages.”

In a recent study, she and others looked at 40 speed dates between heterosexual males and females and analyzed the daters’ language using special computers.

When analyzed, researchers discovered a positive correlation of function-word similarity with speed-daters’ odds of going on a second date and long-term couples’ odds of still being together three months after the study, Ireland said.

Language similarity became an even better predictor of relationship stability when compared to other related variables such as the perceived similarity with one’s date, perceived relationship quality, and how many words people spoke to each other during each conversation.

“We were surprised by how well language similarity predicted relationship stability above and beyond these other variables,” she said. “People also aren’t very good at predicting ahead of time what they'll find attractive on a date. So in a way, language predicts what people want in a partner better than they do themselves.”

Ireland said the study highlights the importance of language and language style with social behavior, she said, and content might not be as important. She and other researchers think language-style matching reflects attention to one’s conversation partner as opposed to oneself or the surroundings and similarity between partners’ thinking styles.

“It’s easy in relationships or on dates to focus on superficial things like your own appearance or the topics your partner is talking about,” she said. “But the fact is that most first dates have pretty similar content. People talk about their likes and dislikes – music, hobbies and majors for college students. None of that really matters though if you're not paying attention to each other or adopting similar mindsets.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas Tech University. The original article was written by John Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas Tech University. "Language of love: Matching conjunctions, pronouns could spell a match better than good looks and fast cars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226110641.htm>.
Texas Tech University. (2014, February 26). Language of love: Matching conjunctions, pronouns could spell a match better than good looks and fast cars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226110641.htm
Texas Tech University. "Language of love: Matching conjunctions, pronouns could spell a match better than good looks and fast cars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226110641.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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:
from the past week

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