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Strangers in a Strange LabHow Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters with Others$
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William Ickes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372953

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.001.0001

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How It All Adds Up: An Integration

How It All Adds Up: An Integration

Chapter:
(p.173) 11 How It All Adds Up: An Integration
Source:
Strangers in a Strange Lab
Author(s):

William Ickes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.003.0011

This chapter re-examines the question of whether “opposites attract” or whether “birds of a feather flock together.” Integration of the findings reported in the previous chapters reveals that personality similarity/dissimilarity is probably not a major factor influencing the quality of initial interactions. What is important instead is the number of prosocial characteristics that the dyad members bring to their initial interaction, and the number of partners (0, 1, or 2) who possess each of these characteristics. However, if personality similarity is not important in initial interactions, it becomes increasingly important over time. For example, global personality similarity has emerged as an important correlate of marital satisfaction.

Keywords:   opposites attract, personality similarity, dissimilarity, prosocial traits, interactional involvement, global personality similarity, mate selection, marital satisfaction

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