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Similarity-Attraction Effect

Definition

The similarity-attraction effect refers to the widespread tendency of people to be attracted to others who are similar to themselves in important respects. Attraction means not strictly physical attraction but, rather, liking for or wanting to be around the person. Many different dimensions of similarity have been studied, in both friendship and romantic contexts. Similarity effects tend to be strongest and most consistent for attitudes, values, activity preferences, and attractiveness. Personality similarity has shown weaker, but still important, effects on attraction.

Background and Modern Usage

Similarity-attraction research embodies the popular adage, “birds of a feather flock together.” This effect has been studied extensively, usually in one of two ways. First, in laboratory experiments, participants are given descriptions of a person they are about to meet. These ...

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