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The Relations between Actual and Perceived Similarity

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title
The Relations between Actual and Perceived Similarity
author
Wortman, Jessica
abstract
Similarity has been frequently studied in psychology, especially in how it relates to outcomes such as relationship satisfaction (e.g., Levinger & Breedlove, 1966). The purpose of this paper is to better understand perceptions of similarity to another person and its links to personality similarity. What does it mean when two people say they perceive themselves as similar? We used several measures of mathematical similarity in personality (Furr, 2008, 2010; Wood, 2008). Overall similarity in self-ratings was related to perceptions of similarity but being more similar than expected by chance was not, either overall or in particular traits. There were strong relationships between perceived similarity and similarity in how individuals rated their own characteristics and the characteristics of a target, particularly for the trait of extraversion. Raters perceived targets as more similar when they also rated that target as more average. Finally, it was demonstrated that the normative and desirable profile were very strongly correlated. This suggests that what is most important to feelings of similarity is not having similarity in self-ratings, but perceiving the other person as having desirable characteristics. Perceptions of similarity do seem to be predicted by personality in some ways, but not through actual similarity in self-ratings.
subject
Psychology
Applied Psychology
contributor
Solano, Cecilia (committee chair)
Furr, Richard (committee member)
Wood, Dustin (committee member)
Breckenridge, Richard (committee member)
date
2010-05-07T19:15:12Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:58:15Z (accessioned)
2010-05-07T19:15:12Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:58:15Z (available)
2010-05-07T19:15:12Z (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14745 (uri)
language
en_US (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
rights
Release the entire work for access only to the Wake Forest University system for one year from the date below. After one year, release the entire work for access worldwide. (accessRights)
type
Thesis

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