• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Matching Hypothesis

Definition

The matching hypothesis refers to the proposition that people are attracted to and form relationships with individuals who resemble them on a variety of attributes, including demographic characteristics (e.g., age, ethnicity, and education level), personality traits, attitudes and values, and even physical attributes (e.g., attractiveness).

Background and Importance

Theorists interested in relationship development believe that similarity plays a key role in the process by which people select their friends and romantic partners. During the initial phase of relationship formation, when two people have not yet become good friends or committed partners, they assess the extent to which they resemble one another in demographic background, values and interests, personality, and other characteristics. The perception of similarity promotes feelings of mutual rapport and positive sentiment between the two, ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles