Personality trait similarity between spouses in four cultures

Robert R. McCrae, Thomas A. Martin, Martina Hrebícková, Tomáš Urbánek, Dorret I. Boomsma, Gonneke Willemsen, Paul T. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We examined patterns of trait similarity (assortative mating) in married couples in four cultures, using both self-reports and spouse ratings on versions of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. There was evidence of a subtle but pervasive perceived contrast bias in the spouse-rating data. However, there was strong agreement across methods of assessment and moderate agreement across cultures in the pattern of results. Most assortment effects were small, but correlations exceeding.40 were seen for a subset of traits, chiefly from the Openness and Agreeableness domains. Except in Russia, where more positive assortment was seen for younger couples, comparisons of younger and older cohorts showed little systematic difference. This suggested that mate selection, rather than convergence over time, accounted for similarity. Future research on personality similarity in dyads can utilize different designs but should assess personality at both domain and the facet levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1164
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of personality
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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