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Do opposites really attract? Or is it, “birds of a feather, flock together?” We began our study with our hypothesis that a positive correlation exists between couples with similar personalities and high relationship satisfaction levels. In order to find a correlation between these two variables, thirty male-female couples were asked to complete two tests. The Myers-Briggs personality test and the Couples Satisfaction Index by Funk and Rogge. The both the male and female participant, of each couple, completed the tests individually from their partner. Both the male and female partners results were recorded to examine their level of similarity and relationship satisfaction. Upon examination of all the test results, I concluded that there was no major correlation between couples with similar personalities and high relationship satisfaction levels. I was surprised that only a medium-strong correlation exists between the variables. I had expected to find that couples that had a higher level of similarity would score significantly higher on the relationship satisfaction index because of the belief that couples that share more similarities are more likely to be successful. However we have accepted our hypothesis that a positive medium-strong correlation exists between personality similarities and relationship satisfaction.
Correlation Study: Relationship Satisfaction and Personality Similarities
Although the saying goes “opposites attract”, we hypothesized that people who are in relationships with a partner with a similar personality are more likely to have a higher satisfaction level. Initial research conducted before our study supports the fact that people who are similar to their partner are more likely to maintain relationships with high levels of satisfaction. Adversely, couples that are very different than their partner have a lower level of satisfaction, sorter duration relationship, and are at higher risk for divorce. The couples that participated in our study did demonstrate an increased level of satisfaction based on higher similarity levels.
As a study of divorce rates in the Netherlands, conducted by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, has show that similarities of personality types begin with the partner’s backgrounds. Research for this study found that spouses who shared a common background were less likely to see a break down in their relationship than those whose background was very different. Thus, the likelihood for divorce showed a positive correlation to personality differences of couples. (Janssen, 2002) Other researches I have done on the topic support this same idea. In fact, during the collection of my resources, I found little to no scholarly evidence that would support the notion that people with very different personalities have long lasting or highly satisfactory relationships.
The task of selecting couples for our research was divided up evenly among us researchers. In total, thirty couples participated in our study. Thirty males and thirty females brought the total number of participants who were used in this study to 60. Both married and dating couples were asked to participate in the study, however approximately 75% of our participants were in dating relationships.
Our participants answered from two tests, the Myers Briggs Personality Test and the Couples Satisfaction Index by Funk and Rogge. The Myers Briggs Personality Test is comprised of four questions and is used to identify personality types according to Carl Jung’s theory of personality and personality preference. The Funk and Rogge, Couples Satisfaction Index test is comprised of thirty two questions. For each question the participants answered on a scale of 0-5. The higher the participants total score, the higher their level of satisfaction.
All participants completed a survey created from the combination of the two tests. The Myers Briggs Test was taken to determine the personality type of the participant and the Funk and Rogge test was taken to determine the participant’s level of satisfaction within their relationship. Before the tests were administered, the participants viewed a consent form. Once the participants had completed the tests, they were shown a debriefing form and a thank you for their participation in our study.
From the answers given by the participants The Myers Briggs Test comprised for 4 questions total, divided into two categories. The categories are: types of mental processes and types of mental orientation. The subject is given with two answers for each question, whichever fits them best is the answer they selected. The questions are: Q1. Which is your most natural energy orientation? Q2.Which way of Perceiving or understanding is most "automatic" or natural? Q3. Which way of forming Judgments and making choices is most natural? And Q4. What is your "action orientation" towards the outside world? After each question, a description of the nature of the question was given so that the participant could better understand. Each answer to the four questions correlated to a particular letter. In total, four letters are collected for the four questions. These four letters are places in the order in which they were received. This combination will correlate to a “key” created by Myers-Briggs. The key will reveled the type of personality for each participant. The type of personality was then compared to their partner, and their level of similarity noted. For each similar answer, their level of similarity is increased by 25% Thus, (1) 25% = slightly similar, (2) 50% = somewhat similar, (3)75% = more similar, (4)100%= most similar.
The Funk and Rogge, Couples Satisfaction Index test is comprised of thirty two questions. For each question the participants will rate themselves on a scale of 0-5. Due to the large amount of questions and possible answers, a great deal of information will be collected. Ts information will then be broken down into the two types of questions: positive and negative. The positive questions reflect questions regarding the participant’s level of satisfaction in their relationship. The negative questions are asking the participant about their level of un-satisfaction in their relationship. The total for each will then be totaled and averaged. The results form the thirty couples were put into the table and revealed a positive medium-strong correlation between couples personality similarities and relationship satisfaction.
We accepted our hypothesis based on the data we collected from our thirty couples which identifies a positive correlation between personality similarities and relationship satisfaction. Couples, who were less similar to their partner, did show a decrease in satisfaction when compared to the satisfaction level of participants who were highly similar to their partner. Our results differed from the finding in our initial research in the strength of the correlation. Initial research claims that personality similarities cause higher relationship satisfaction, however our study only identifies a correlation between the two variables. Previous theories of couple’s similarities in correlation to their relationship satisfaction generally support the idea that there is a significant rise in relationship satisfaction among couples that share similar personalities with their partner. Thus, confirming the positive correlation we had hypothesized to find.
One possible reason that our study may vary from initial studies may possibly be attributed to the following factors: difference in participant’s age, demographics, relationship length and seriousness of relationships. Our questionnaire was administered to our participant by email. In order to have had knowledge of the participant’s email we chose participants who we knew were in relationships. Looking back this could have had a negative influence on our study. For example, by choosing participants who we were familiar with, increased the number of participants who were not married and of college age. Our familiarity with our participants may have also influenced by the local demographics of our participants, as we were more likely to send the questionnaire to those whom we could easily contact. Relationship length may have also impacted the results of our study because the majority of our participants were in dating, not married relationships. Assuming that a significant portion of our participants was in casually dating relationships, they may not have been able to identify with some of the more in-depth questions. An example of this would be the question that asked if the participant would date or marry their partner again if they could live their life over. To rate their partner highly on this question, would require an already increased level of satisfaction in their relationship and a seriousness of their attachment to their partner. Thus, relationships of young adults who are currently satisfied with their relationship, may not be able to accurately determine whether or not they would date the same person had their life been relived.
Do opposites really attract? Or is it, “birds of a feather (omit comma) flock together?”
We began our study with our hypothesis that a positive correlation exists between couples with similar personalities and high relationship satisfaction levels.
Unless this is for Psychology Today or some such low-key publication that encourages a chatty, person-to-person style (as opposed to a scientific journal), do not personalize your writing with personal pronouns etc. Even if for just a presentation to other students, you should maintain the objective standpoint.)
This study investigates the hypothesis that a positive correlation exists between couples with similar personalities, and high relationship-satisfaction levels.
(Use of the comma separates the variables being used in the correlation. Note use of the hyphen to join relationship and satisfaction. Note also: you are investigating the hypothesis of a relationship between the variables, but the null hypothesis to be tested is of 'no relationship'.)
In order to determine a correlation between these two variables, thirty male-female couples were asked to complete two tests. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(use the correct name of the test)
and the Couples Satisfaction Index by Funk and Rogge. (The (I think you mean 'then') both-omit)
The male and female participant of each couple completed the tests individually from their partner. Both the male and female partner's results were recorded to examine their level of similarity and relationship satisfaction
All participants completed the questionnaires individually; and results for partners collated to determine (examine their level-omit) degree of similarity, and relationship-satisfaction. Upon examination of all the test results-omit)
It was concluded that there was a significant positive[/COLOR] correlation between couples with similar personalities, and high relationship-satisfaction levels. (See below)
I was surprised that only a medium-strong correlation exists between the variables.
Firstly, you should have determined whether the correlation itself is statistically significant ie greater than zero. A correlation of .33 might well still not be statistically significant depending on the sample size. Having so determined that it is significant (that is, a real correlation between the variables exists) then a correlation less than .33 is regarded as "weak" whilst .34 to .66 is "medium" and, and .67+ is "strong". Even in the astract, the actual correlation coefficient should be quoted, and significance level eg Spearman's rho = .69 (p<.05).
I had expected to find that couples that had a higher level of similarity would score significantly higher on the relationship satisfaction index because of the belief that couples that share more similarities are more likely to be successful.
(This is unnecessary, as it was the whole basis of the study)
However we have accepted our hypothesis that a positive medium-strong correlation exists between personality similarities and relationship satisfaction.
The way this is phrased is: your null hypothesis would have been that NO CORRELATION exists and a significant positive correlation would have then allowed you to reject this, and find support for the experimenial hypothesis, the adage, that indeed in personal relationships, like-feathered birds form a flock.
Did you think that ONE psychological test would assess ALL that is involved in what attracts couples? What about looks, financial standing and prospects, educational background, highly specific interests, religious/no religious affiliation? One test is not going to account for all the variance. You seem to be implying you expected something pretty close to +1. I reiterate: that a correlation was found, significantly different to zero, is the most that could have been determined experimentally.
Last edited by David L.; 06-Mar-2008 at 20:05.