Would a Type A Date Another Type A?: Influence of Behavior Type and Personal Attributes In the Selection of Dating Partners1


  • 1

    This research was supported by a Biomedical Research Support Grant (RR07009) and an Academic Research Grant awarded to the first author by the University of California, Los Angeles. Sincere thanks are extended to Letitia Anne Peplau for her helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. The authors' gratitude is expressed to Jeff Hanson and Caroline Chellamy for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Marie A. Morell, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2263C Franz Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90024–1563.


Certain behavior type patterns in couples have been associated with heightened interpersonal distress and coronary heart disease risk. However, the factors that lead to such pairings seldom have been investigated. The present study examined the associations between personal behavior type and gender-role self-concept related to the selection of hypothetical dating partners.

Eighty-one male and 116 female heterosexual college students completed questionnaires to assess behavior type (Jenkins Activity Survey) and gender-role self-concept (Personal Attributes Questionnaire, PAQ). Participants chose a preferred “dating partner” from vignettes differing in the degree of Type A-Type B behavior displayed. Results of CATMOD and chi-square analyses were generally consistent with the similarity theory of interpersonal attraction. Type A and B males as well as Type B females preferred hypothetical dating partners identical to their own behavior type. Type A females with high PAQ Masculinity scores selected Type A dates, whereas Type A females with low PAQ Masculinity preferred Type Bs. Implications for the selection of actual dating partners, spouses, potential interpersonal distress, and coronary heart disease risk are discussed.