Tuesday, October 9, 2012

International Association for Relationship Research Conference

Some fresh & new papers/posters from the latest International Association for Relationship Research Conference
(July 12-16 2012 - Chicago, Illinois)

"Personality Similarities Predict Relationship Satisfaction in 23 Countries"
Erina Lee, Gian Gonzaga, and Emily M. Maywood (from eHarmony Labs)
Studies show that similarity between couples is positively related to relationship quality.  The purpose of the current study is to fully investigate personality similarity in close relationships using 3 types of similarity (couple similarity – similarity between partners only, cultural similarity – similarity between others only, and shared similarity – similarity with both partners and others).  Being uniquely similar to one's partner was expected to increase satisfaction especially in countries valuing similarity amongst ingroup members (e.g., collectivistic countries); while being similar to one's partner and others in society was thought to ease relationship functioning across all countries. To fully investigate these types of similarity, we studied 16,393 heterosexual, romantic couples across 23 countries.  Similarities were estimated using profile correlations. Then principle components analysis and residuals were computed as percentages of variance explained by the three similarity types. Across all countries, positive assortment was found with couples being more similar to one another than to other people. Three-level HLM analyses revealed, as expected, that couple similarity predicted relationship satisfaction more powerfully in countries that were collectivistic.  Additionally, cultural similarity predicted relationship satisfaction better in more individualistic countries. Shared similarity was equally important in predicting satisfaction independent of individualism/collectivism. This study lends further support for personality similarity as a predictor of relationship satisfaction showing that similarity has far reaching but differential impact for couples around the world.  It also demonstrates that multiple components of similarity benefit relationships. The methodological and psychological impacts of these results are discussed.

"Couple Similarity in Attachment Style and its Association with Relationship Satisfaction"

Fay Julal, Jodie Bellchambers, Katie O'Shea, and Lara Webber
Compared to other personality constructs, attachment style similarity is a strong predictor of relationship quality (Luo & Klohnen, 2005). Preference for similarity in attachment style may be more salient at different points in a relationship (e.g., initial attraction vs. longer term; Holmes & Johnson, 2009). In the present study, we used a couple-centred approach to examine the extent to which actor (own) and partner's attachment style (avoidance, anxiety) and similarity in attachment style within couples (assessed with profile similarity correlations; PSC) predicted actor's relationship satisfaction. Further, we examined whether relationship length moderated the association between similarity in attachment style and relationship satisfaction. Each member of a heterosexual couple (N = 105 couples; M relationship length
= 46.08-months) completed the ECR-Short Form and the PRQC relationship satisfaction scale. For actors (male and female couple members, separately) low avoidance and high PSC–anxiety predicted relationship satisfaction. Partner's attachment style did not predict actor's satisfaction. Relationship length did not moderate the attachment similarity-satisfaction relationship. The extent to which couple members were similar in attachment anxiety predicted relationship satisfaction. Actor's avoidance predicted relationship satisfaction. These findings suggest that each attachment dimension contributes to relationship functioning in distinct ways (e.g., intra- and interpersonal processes). Findings are discussed in terms of the salience of attachment anxiety and avoidance beyond initial attraction in predicting relationship quality.

"What Leads to Romantic Attraction: Similarity, Reciprocity, Security, or Beauty? Evidence from a Speed-Dating Study"
Shanhong Luo
Years of attraction research has established several "principles" of attraction with robust evidence. However, a major limitation of previous attraction studies is that they have almost exclusively relied on well-controlled experiments, which are often criticized for lacking ecological validity. This study was designed to test the evidence for four attraction principles in a real-life setting—speed-dating. Social Relations Model analyses showed strong evidence for the beauty principle; that is, partners' physical attractiveness (i.e., beauty) was the best predictor of initial romantic attraction for both sexes. There was partial support for the reciprocity and security principles; that is, people were more attracted to partners who also liked them (reciprocity) and who were emotionally secure (security). Surprisingly, there was no evidence for similarity—people were not particularly attracted to those who were similar to themselves.


 "Perceptions of Ideal and Former Partners' Personality and Similarity"
Pieternel Dijkstra / Dick P. H. Barelds / University of Groningen, The Netherlands
she had written "our study showed that individuals did not rate similarity in personality as very important when seeking a mate. Our findings may help understand why so many relationships end in divorce due to mismatches in personality."
"The present study's results, as well as the results found in previous studies (e.g., Eastwick & Finkel, 2008), may be used to educate people, especially singles, about what really matters in long-term relationships, for instance, similarity in personality, instead of complementarity."

The Online Dating Industry needs innovations but they will come from only one source: the latest discoveries in theories of romantic relationships development with commitment.
Only 3 major discoveries can help to revolutionize the online dating industry.
I) Several studies showing contraceptive pills users make different mate choices, on average, compared to non-users. “Only short-term but not long-term partner preferences tend to vary with the menstrual cycle”
II) People often report partner preferences that are not compatible with their choices in real life. (FORGET Behavioural recommender systems or other system that learns your preferences because they are useless at all!)
III) What is important in attracting people to one another may not be important in making couples happy. Compatibility is all about a high level on personality similarity between prospective mates for long term mating with commitment.       )

"Upon Further Review, (Actual) Similarity is a Poor Predictor of Interpersonal Attraction: Theoretical Review, Empirical Evidence, and Implications for Commercial Matching Algorithms"
Eli Finkel, Paul Eastwick, and Natasha Tidwell
The similarity–attraction effect stands as one of the most well-known findings in social psychology; indeed, it is sufficiently entrenched that textbook authors frequently adopt Byrne's phrase "law of attraction" to describe the positive linear association of similarity with interpersonal attraction. Despite the widespread view that similarity predicts attraction, however, evidence is emerging that this effect is robust for perceived similarity, but sporadic and weak for actual similarity. This presentation reports the results of the first-ever study to examine the effects of actual and perceived similarity simultaneously during a face-to-face initial romantic encounter. Lending particularly strong support to the emerging view that (actual) similarity is much less relevant to interpersonal attraction than long assumed, results revealed that perceived, but not actual, similarity significantly predicted romantic liking. These results have important implications for commercial dating services (e.g., eHarmony) that depend upon actual similarity as a crucial predictor of both attraction and long-term relationship well-being: If there is compelling reason to doubt whether there is a robust association of actual similarity with relationship outcomes, then using the principle of similarity as the foundation for a matching algorithm may be ill- advised.

An exercise of similarity. and How LIFEPROJECT METHOD calculates similarity  
WorldWide, there are over 5,000 -five thousand- online dating sites
but no one is using the 16PF5 (or similar) to assess personality of its members!
but no one calculates similarity with a quantized pattern comparison method!
but no one can show Compatibility Distribution Curves to each and every of its members!
but no one is scientifically proven!

"The Long-term Effects of Your Own and Your Romantic Partner's Personality on Relationship Satisfaction and Dissolution"
Brittany C. Solomon and Joshua J. Jackson
Attaining a romantic relationship is an important goal for most adults, with significant implications, given that romantic relationships are associated with wellbeing and physical health (Reis, Collins, & Berscheid, 2000). Consequentially, it is important to know what sustains healthy and satisfied relationships and the factors that lead to relationship dissolution. An important predictor of relationship satisfaction is the personality traits of each person in the relationship (Dyrenforth, Kashy, Donnellan, & Lucas, 2010). In other words, beyond a person's own personality, his/her partner's personality also influences their relationship satisfaction. However, little is known about the long-term effects of partner personality, as most research is cross-sectional. In the current study we used data collected over 4 years from a sample of 3,198 married (or defacto) couples (6,396 individuals) to investigate several questions. For instance, we find that actor and partner personality traits predict relationship satisfaction across four years. Moreover, actor and partner personality were also used to predict relationship dissolution. In addition we examined how changes in personality across four years may influence relationship satisfaction and if these changes in personality precede a break up. Overall, we found evidence that one's own personality and their partner's personality play a significant role in relationship satisfaction and dissolution. Interestingly, these findings suggest that both stability and change in personality traits influence important relationship outcomes. Further investigation of personality and relationship satisfaction over time may shed more light on the extent to which these dyadic factors influence long-term life outcomes (e.g., wellbeing and physical health).

Stability and change of personality across the life course
 Personality traits are highly stable in persons over 25 years old to 45 years old (the group of persons who could be most interested in serious online dating) They have only minor changes in personality (less than 1 interval in a normative test) and the 16PF5 test will not "see" them because the output of the 16PF5 test are 16 variables STens (Standard Tens) taking integer values from 1 to 10. STens divide the score scale into ten units. STens have the advantage that they enable results to be thought of in terms of bands of scores, rather than absolute raw scores. These bands are narrow enough to distinguish statistically significant differences between candidates, but wide enough not to over emphasize minor differences between candidates.

"Facebook Relationship Status: It's Complicated"
Camilla Overup, Mai-Ly Nguyen, Julie Brunson, and Linda K Acitelli
... individuals in good relationships are generally honest about their relationship status on Facebook and that this association occurs because people in good relationships generally have positive reasons for being truthful about their relationships.   Negative reasons (e.g. "keep others from knowing") were not significant as a mediator, but predicted failure to reveal actual relationship status independently of relationship quality. Although positive relationship quality predicts displaying one's relationship status publically, it may not be the only reason why people post as they do. For some, making one's commitment public interferes with other needs.  External concerns, such as the desire for privacy, may determine whether one chooses to reveal one’s relationship status.

"Why Time Spent on Facebook is Linked to Depression"
Mai-Ly Nguyen, Robert E Wickham, and Linda K. Acitelli
... Facebook may serve as a platform for men to engage in intrasexual competitive social comparisons such that, the more time men spend on Facebook the more likely they are to compete with other males and feel inadequate when comparing their accomplishments to those of their peers. Time spent on Facebook did not predict women's outcomes in the same way. Perhaps women use Facebook as a way to maintain connections with their friends rather than compete with them.


What comes after Social Networking?
My bet: The Next Big Investment Opportunity on the Internet will be .... Personalization!
Personality Based Recommender Systems and Strict Personality Based Compatibility Matching Engines for serious Online Dating with the normative 16PF5 personality test. The market remain enormous!!

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