Assortive mating for perceived facial personality traits

A C Little, D M Burt, David Ian Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The widespread belief that partners look alike has received some empirical support. Here we examine some perceptual characteristics of faces that may account for this similarity. Across two studies judges rated perceived age, attractiveness, and five personality traits of married individuals' faces. Correlations showed that perceived age, attractiveness and some personality traits were similar between partners and that matching for perceived personality occurred even when controlling for age and attractiveness of the faces. This finding may reflect individuals choosing partners who physically resemble themselves or partners who appear to have similar personalities to themselves. Analysis also showed that couples that had been together longer looked more similar in perceived personality traits, which may reflect couples growing more similar in apparent personality over time or that those appearing alike in personality stay together longer. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-984
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • assortative mating
  • personality attribution
  • facial characteristics
  • partner similarity


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