We investigated whether spousal similarity for personality traits results from convergence (i.e., couples becoming more similar to one another over time) or selection (i.e., individuals selecting partners with similar traits) in a sample of 1296 married couples. Personality was assessed using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. We evaluated whether similarity increased with increasing length of marriage. Evidence of spousal convergence was inconsistent across analyses, arguing against this mechanism as a compelling explanation for spousal similarity. Accordingly, selection processes may better explain spousal similarity in these data. The one exception might be for aggressive aspects of personality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded in part by USPHS Grants # DA05147 , AA09367 , and AA11886, DA13240 , and MH65137 .
- Assortative mating
- Personality similarity
- Spousal convergence