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For example, scholars and laypeople alike have long assumed that people tend to be romantically attracted to others to the degree that those others are similar to them. Natasha Tidwell recently spearheaded a rigorous study of the link between similarity and initial romantic attraction. Based on the evidence available to date, there is no evidence in support of such claims and plenty of reason to be skeptical of them. Of course, many of the people in these relationships would have met somebody offline, but some would still be single and searching.
The results revealed huge effects for perceived similarity, such that people are especially attracted to potential partners whom they perceive to be similar to them. However, much of that research is limited in certain respects.
However, this literature review also suggested that engaging in too much computer-mediated communication can undermine this benefit. Such scholars also frequently examine the impact of life circumstances, such as unemployment stress, infertility problems, a cancer diagnosis, or an attractive co-worker. This study, on which Paul Eastwick and I were co-authors, used speed-dating methods and allowed Tidwell to distinguish perceived from actual similarity. Here is the first part of his response. Her research examines a number of issues about close relationships, including sexuality, love, initiation, and attraction.
This boost may be especially useful for shy or anxious individuals, who are able to use that initial period of computer-mediated communication to get off on the right foot. These claims are not supported by any credible evidence. For example, such scholars frequently videotape couples while the two partners discuss certain topics in their marriage, such as a recent conflict or important personal goals.
For millennia, people seeking to make a buck have claimed that they have unlocked the secrets of romantic compatibility, but none of them ever mustered compelling evidence in support of their claims. It is hard to know whether this sequence of events would impact relationships in the long term.
Many are lucky, finding life-long love or at least some exciting escapades. Several other studies converge on the conclusion that actual similarity is a weak or nonexistent predictor of initial attraction to a potential partners one has actually met in person. To be sure, relationship scientists have discovered a great deal about what makes some relationships more successful than others.
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