Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality in nationally representative samples from three countries: the relative importance of actor, partner, and similarity effects
Three very large, nationally representative samples of married couples were used to examine the relative importance of 3 types of personality effects on relationship and life satisfaction: actor effects, partner effects, and similarity effects. Using data sets from Australia (N 5,278), the United Kingdom (N 6,554), and Germany (N 11,418) provided an opportunity to test whether effects replicated across samples. Actor effects accounted for approximately 6% of the variance in relationship satisfaction and between 10% and 15% of the variance in life satisfaction. Partner effects (which were largest for Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Emotional Stability) accounted for between 1% and 3% of the variance in relationship satisfaction and between 1% and 2% of the variance in life satisfaction. Couple similarity consistently explained less than .5% of the variance in life and relationship satisfaction after controlling for actor and partner effects.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
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