Simple answer for a complicated question (usually my questions are easy and my answers are complicated)…
My students claim to believe that opposites do attract. And that it’s always better to have someone who isn’t just like you. But what they are usually talking about is someone having complementary interests or likes that work with the stuff you like or the way you are.
But true opposites? Lots of research (hundreds of studies, actually) says that this just doesn’t fly well.
Simply put: we like people who confirm the way we think about things, the world, relationships, work, values, school, how to raise kids, what’s an acceptable amount of partying, how to train that puppy, how clean the house should be….the list goes on, right?
Because people who think about the world the way that we think about the world make us feel better. Yay.
Which brings me to the dogs.
Some fun researchers in California decided that we should really find out if dog owners look like their dogs. It turns out that yeah, people do look like their dogs – when their dogs are purebreds! The researchers replicated their dog research in a second study to make sure this wasn’t just a random finding. And yes, it turns out that random participants (who don’t know said dogs or owners) can match dogs with their owners quite well.
These aren’t the pictures used in this research, but you get the drift…
Like I tell my students, if you want to find people that are like you to date, hang out in places where people like you hang out.… read more