Quantifying the association between personality similarity and marital adjustment using profile correlations: A cautionary tale

Mikhila N. Humbad, M. Brent Donnellan, William G. Iacono, Matthew McGue, S. Alexandra Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Profile correlations are sometimes used to quantify personality trait similarity between relationship partners. These coefficients are then used to test whether similar couples are happier couples. The current paper describes several different methods of calculating profile correlations and outlines procedures for testing whether these coefficients are related to marital adjustment in a sample of 1643 couples. There was little evidence that profile correlations were related to marital adjustment after accounting for normativeness (i.e., the degree to which an individual's profile matched the typical personality profile) and when accounting for each individual's personality attributes. Results suggest that researchers using profile correlations should be cautious given that the interpretation and psychological meaning of results often depend on how the coefficients are calculated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded in part by USPHS Grants # DA05147, AA09367, and AA11886, DA13240, and MH65137 .

Keywords

  • Marital adjustment
  • Personality traits
  • Profile correlation
  • Profile similarity

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