Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality

"Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality in nationally representative samples from three countries: the relative importance of actor, partner, and similarity effects."

Three very large, nationally representative samples of married couples were used to examine the relative importance of 3 types of personality effects on relationship and life satisfaction: actor effects, partner effects, and similarity effects. Using data sets from Australia (N = 5,278), the United Kingdom (N = 6,554), and Germany (N = 11,418) provided an opportunity to test whether effects replicated across samples. Actor effects accounted for approximately 6% of the variance in relationship satisfaction and between 10% and 15% of the variance in life satisfaction. Partner effects (which were largest for Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Emotional Stability) accounted for between 1% and 3% of the variance in relationship satisfaction and between 1% and 2% of the variance in life satisfaction. Couple similarity consistently explained less than .5% of the variance in life and relationship satisfaction after controlling for actor and partner effects.

That research has 2 weak points:

1) The Big 5 test to assess personality of spouses. The Big 5 test is an oversimplification. One extravert (a bold, fearless, high-energy type) may differ considerably from another (a sweet, warm, sensitive type), depending on the extraversion-related primary scale score patterns.
I had been suggesting to use the 16PF5 (or 15FQ+) normative test since years and discard the Big 5 test forever.

2) How they calculate different similarity indices at page 5.
"One important issue in providing a clear interpretation of the similarity literature is that there are a variety of ways to measure similarity, and the choice of method involves both theoretical concerns and statistical complexities (see Chapter 12 of Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006, for a complete discussion)." at page 3.
"Perhaps the most important novel contribution of this work is the systematic examination of the ways that various similarity indices are associated with relationship and life satisfaction. In past work, researchers have debated which index should be used when examining the association between similarity and relationship outcomes." at page 11

"Methodological and data analytic advances in the study of interpersonal relationships: Introduction to the Special Issue" says ".. It is also important for investigators to challenge statisticians to create new analytic techniques when existing ones are inadequate. These tasks are left to you, the reader."

Researchers in the Personality Based Recommender Systems arena are also testing different formulas to calculate similarity, useless at all because they use the Big5 to assess personality of users.
You can see:
"Using Personality Information in Collaborative Filtering for New Users" "Design and User Issues in Personality-based Recommender Systems" "Emotive and Personality Parameters in Multimedia Recommender Systems" "Personality based user similarity measure for a collaborative recommender system" "The LDOS-PerAff-1 Corpus of Face Video Clips with Affective and Personality Metadata" "Addressing the New User Problem with a Personality Based User Similarity Measure" "Improving the believability in the interaction of synthetic virtual agents: Towards Personality in Group Dynamics"

"Recommender Systems based on Personality Traits: Could human psychological aspects influence the computer decision-making process?"

Moreover, this is the list of milestone papers not even cited in
"Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality in nationally representative samples from three countries: the relative importance of actor, partner, and similarity effects.":

* Charania & Ickes (2009) paper: "Personality influences on marital satisfaction: Integrating the empirical evidence using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) model"
"... substantial level of inter-partner personality similarity for seven of the thirteen personality traits studied, with four of the similarity correlations exceeding 0.38 ..."

* Rammstedt & Schupp (2008) paper: "Only the congruent survive - Personality similarities in couples. Personality and Individual Differences"
".... 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 0.30 are found for Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness."

* Barelds & Dijkstra (2008) paper: "Do People Know What They Want: A Similar or Complementary Partner?"
"In The Netherlands, where this study was conducted, almost 40% of the divorcees report mismatches in personalities as the major cause of their break-up (De Graaf, 2006; Amato and Previti, 2003). .... although several studies have revealed similarities between partners in their personalities (e.g., Buss, 1984; McCrae, Martin, Hrebícková, Urbánek, Boomsma et al., 2008) only few studies have investigated the extent to which similarity in personality leads to romantic attraction (Barelds and Dijkstra, 2007). From their finding that couples across age groups show the same partner similarities (McCrae et al. 2008) conclude that mate selection, rather than convergence over time, accounts for personality similarity among partners." "Finally, the present study explored a recent issue uncovered by Eastwick and Finkel 2008; also Kurzban and Weeden, 2007; Todd, Penke, Fasolo, and Lenton, 2007 who found that people often report partner preferences that are not compatible with their choices in real life."

* McCrae, Martin, Hrebícková, Urbánek, Boomsma et al. (2008) paper: "Personality Trait Similarity Between Spouses in Four Cultures"
"... Most assortment effects were small, but correlations exceeding 0.40 were seen for a subset of traits, chiefly from the Openness and Agreeableness domains. ... This suggested that mate selection, rather than convergence over time, accounted for similarity"

* Barelds & Dijkstra (2007) paper: "Love at first sight or friends first? Ties among partner personality trait similarity, relationship onset, relationship quality, and love"
"... partner personality trait similarity was related to relationship quality as a function of both relationship onset and specific personality traits. "

* Bekkers, van Aken & Denissen (2006) paper: "Social Structure and Personality Assortment Among Married Couples"
"... Personality characteristics like agreeableness and neuroticism are good predictors of marital conflicts and ultimately of union dissolution, even across different relationships (Robins, Caspi & Moffitt, 2002). .... In sum: spouses with higher levels of neuroticism and openness, spouses with lower levels of agreeableness, and couples with more dissimilar personalities at the time of marriage are more likely to divorce."

Although none of the above papers use the 16PF normative personality test (they mostly use different versions of the normative Big5 personality test instead) and linear or logistic multivariate regression equations to calculate similarity, they clearly show a connection between personality similarity and marital happiness / dyadic success (stability and satisfaction) for some persons.

That is why I had invented a quantitative method to solve the problem of similarity!

The 16PF5 normative personality test codifies personality with 16 variables taking integer values from 1 to 10 in stens (standardized tens).

(A) Warmth; (B) Reasoning; (C) Emotional Stability; (E) Dominance, (F) Liveliness; (G) RuleConsciousness; (H) Social Boldness; (I) Sensitivity; (L) Vigilance; (M) Abstractedness; (N) Privateness (O) Apprehension; (Q1) Openness to Change; (Q2) SelfReliance; (Q3) Perfectionism; (Q4) Tension.

The ensemble (whole set of different valid possibilities) of the 16PF5 is: 10E16, big number as All World Population is nearly 6.7 * 10E9

The 16PF5 result is a quantized pattern, like
John's 16PF5 Profile A:6.B:7.C:6.E:8.F:9.G:6.H:7.I:7.L:8.M:7.N:2.O:5.Q1:8.Q2:7.Q3:3.Q4:4
Lucy's 16PF5 Profile A:5.B:7.C:4.E:8.F:7.G:4.H:5.I:6.L:4.M:6.N:8.O:9.Q1:6.Q2:8.Q3:4.Q4:4

I had invented a high precision quantitative method to compare similarity between those quantized patterns, e.g.:

John's pattern is 74.79865772% +/- 0.00000001% similar to Lucy's.

Latest Research in Theories of Romantic Relationships Development outlines: compatibility is all about a high level on personality similarity* between prospective mates for long term mating with commitment.
*Similarity is a word that has different meanings for different persons or companies, it exactly depends on how mathematically is defined.

Also several studies show that pill users make different mate choices, on average, compared to non-users.

1) "Human oestrus" Gangestad & Thornhill (2008)
"Only short-term but not long-term partner preferences tend to vary with the menstrual cycle"

2) "Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?" Alvergne & Lummaa (2009)
".. whereas normally cycling women express a preference for MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) dissimilarity in mates, pill users prefer odours of MHC-SIMILAR men, indicating that pill use might eliminate adaptive preferences for genetic dissimilarity."

Please see how the1stMap distorts because it shows you Greenland as big as South America
But see the2ndMap, constructed using the Hobo Dyer Equal Area Projection, it correctly shows
South America: Area 17,840,000 km2 (6,890,000 sq mi)
Greenland: Area 2,166,086 km2 (13th) 836,109 sq mi

Fig. 1 extracted from Personal Relationships, 6 (1999), 519-534.
"Taxometric and related methods in relationships research"
Fig. 1 shows how a variable can be masked by other variable.

Please see "An exercise of similarity"

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