Scientists confirmed that opposites do not attract. After studying 1,500 pairs, they concluded that a person distances himself away from someone who does not share his values and beliefs.
Angela Bahns, professor of Psychology at Wellesly College, suggests that two people will interact and connect easily if they have more similarities. Relationships will start more smoothly this way than talking about each other’s differences.
The participants consisted of romantic couples, friends and acquaintances. The researchers asked them to fill up a survey that talked about their personalities, values and prejudices.
The research team analysed each pair’s similarities and differences and how this affected their relationships. They found out that all pairs held the same values, rather than being opposites.
“People are more similar than chance on almost everything we measure, and they are especially similar on the things that matter most to them personally,” Bahns adds.
The researchers also studied pairs of college students who only just met. They discovered that relationships do not work if a person tries to change another person’s values and opinions.
“Though the idea that partners influence each other is central in relationships research, we have identified a large domain in which friends show very little change– personality, attitudes and values, and a selection of socially-relevant behaviours.”
Bahns explains that disagreements will deteriorate relationships over times. Still, the researchers warn that hanging out with only similar-minded people could result to the lack of open-mindedness.
Chris Crandall, a professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas, asserts that social success is dictated by similarities. However, the professor notes that starting relationships with people who hold different values is just as beneficial.
“Friends are for comfort, taking it easy, relaxing, not being challenged — and those are good things. But you can’t have only that need. You also need new ideas, people to correct you when you’re loony,” Crandall concludes.