Assortative Mating and Personality in Human Couples: A Study Using Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory


The trend toward assortative mating is the rule in Western societies for a large series of factors. The case for personality variables is however not clear, since weak and even negative relationships have been found in correlation analyses between spouses. The present study compared the profiles of members from 145 stable couples living together for more than 5 years, and representative of the Belgian population. Personality measurements were performed using Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), in order to: 1) determine whether the subject’s TCI predicts the partner’s profile; 2) determine whether modeling has an important influence between the partners; 3) describe the behavior of personalities with extreme traits; 4) measure whether personalities with extreme traits would favor complementarity over homogamy. In all dimensions but Harm Avoidance and its sub-dimensions, positive associations were found between the partners, indicating a trend toward assortative mating. These differences were significant for Novelty Seeking, Reward Dependence, Persistence and Cooperativeness. Trends were observed in Self-Directedness and Self-Transcendence. Subjects with extreme personality traits were not shown to favor complementarity over assortative mating. Homogamy was thus confirmed here for a series of personality traits, independently of the TCI Temperament or Character classification and on the subjects position in the distribution.

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Bon, O. , Hansenne, M. , Amaru, D. , Albert, A. , Ansseau, M. & Dupont, S. (2013). Assortative Mating and Personality in Human Couples: A Study Using Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory. Psychology, 4, 11-18. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.41002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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