You’re Just Like Me!

first_imgThe Atlantic:Sometimes opposing adages fight to a draw: “Better safe than sorry” versus “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” But when it comes to “Opposites attract” versus “Birds of a feather flock together,” the data are in: we end up with partners like ourselves. A study of 291 newlywed couples found spouses to be closer in values, religiosity, and political attitudes than would be predicted by chance [1]. Scientists have a term for this: positive assortative mating. (It’snegative assortative mating when opposites attract.)The human species isn’t the only one that flocks together. A meta-analysis of assortative mating in animals based on traits such as size and color found that nearly all the assortment was positive [2]. Not that sorting by size and color is limited to animals: humans tend to marry people with a similar level of body fat[3], and online daters stick to their own race [4].People also gravitate toward mates whose faces look like theirs. In one study, subjects who were presented with a series of photos were able to pair a woman’s image with that of her partner, based on facial similarities—even when only isolated features (noses, mouths, eyes) were displayed [5].Read the whole story: The Atlanticlast_img

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