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The attraction–similarity model and dating couples: Projection, perceived similarity, and psychological benefits

Authors

  • MARIAN M. MORRY,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Manitoba, Canada
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    • Marian M. Morry, Mie Kito, and Lindsey Ortiz, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

  • MIE KITO,

    1. University of Manitoba, Canada
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    • Marian M. Morry, Mie Kito, and Lindsey Ortiz, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

  • LINDSEY ORTIZ

    1. University of Manitoba, Canada
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    • Marian M. Morry, Mie Kito, and Lindsey Ortiz, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


  • This research was funded by a University of Manitoba research grant to the first author. Parts of this research were presented at the International Association for Relationship Research Conference in 2006 and the Society of Personality and Social Psychology Conference in 2010.

Marian M. Morry, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, P508 Duff Roblin, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2, e-mail: Marian_Morry@UManitoba.ca.

Abstract

According to the attraction–similarity model, relationship quality leads to perceptions of partner–self similarity. Relationship quality and perceived similarity then provide psychological benefits for the perceiver. Across 3 studies, relationship quality positively predicted perceptions of similarity. Study 1 indicated that for moderate, but not low, relationship-relevant traits, individuals projected the self onto the dating partner as a way of perceiving similarities. In Study 2, priming high, as opposed to low, relationship quality led to greater perceived similarity on the moderately relevant traits. Study 3 indicated greater perceived similarity between self and dating partner than between self and average same-gender student on the moderately relevant traits. Relationship quality and perceived similarity with the dating partner on the moderately relevant traits also predicted psychological benefits.

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