It’s often said that opposites attract, but a new study proves the old adage is incorrect.
In a survey of over 1500 people, researchers at Wellesly College and the University of Kansas found that people tend to be attracted to those who hold the same views and values as they do.
Researchers measured attitudes, personality traits and activity preferences of friends, acquaintances and romantic partners. They also asked the candidates for how long and how well they knew each other.
“We were able to test how similar they were to one another, and whether or not similarity increased along with relationship length and closeness,” said Angela Bahns, a psychology professor at Wellesly College. “We found out that people are similar to their friends in attitudes, values, personality, and behaviors.”
The fact that we choose friends and partners who share our attitudes and values has both benefits and drawbacks. Researchers claim that similarity in relationships allows for a safe, stable and satisfying social environment, but surrounding yourself with like-minded others also means one has limited exposure to diverse people and ideas.
“There are many benefits to be gained from having close relationships with people who are different from us,” Bahns added. “It may not be an easy thing to do, and our study suggests that most people are not likely to do it, but that does not mean that relationships with people who are different cannot be rewarding.”