London: ‘Opposites attract’ is an age-old concept that has been batted around for centuries. And in fact, it is very true when it comes to falling in love.
But do opposites really attract? A new study has found that more often that not, similarity rules the day.
Researchers at Berkeley found that people are drawn to potential romantic partners if they are of their own or similar league and desirability, which they called the ‘matching hypothesis’.
Personality traits and common interests do play a factor but for that instant attraction, like is drawn towards like, putting paid to the phrase ‘You``re out of my league’, reports the Daily Mail.
The researchers measured the popularity of more than 3,000 heterosexual users of an online dating site and looked at the popularity of each.
Popularity was defined by the number of opposite-sex individuals who had sent unsolicited messages to a user.
Analyses indicated that high-popularity users contacted other popular users at a rate greater than would be expected by chance.
Similarly, the less popular users of the site also contacted other low-popularity users.
The researchers then conducted a follow-up study of more than a million users and found a similar result - when it comes to dating, potential mates stick to someone in their own league.
“Individuals on the dating market will assess their own self-worth and select partners whose social desirability approximately equals their own,” said the researchers.
Using data collected in the laboratory and from users of a popular online dating site, the authors found evidence for matching based on self-worth, physical attractiveness, and popularity, but to different degrees and not always at the same stage of the dating process.
“The most striking prediction is that undesirable individuals will choose undesirable partners,” the authors concluded.