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Journal Article

The company you keep: personality and friendship characteristics


Publication date

30 Aug 2016


Studies on personality and friendship have focused on similarities between friends, while differences in friendship patterns have received less attention. We used data from the British Household Panel Survey data (N = 12,098) to investigate how people’s personalities are related to various characteristics of their three closest friends. All personality traits of the five-factor model were associated with several friendship characteristics with effect sizes corresponding to correlations between −.06 and .09. Openness was especially prominent and idiosyncratic; individuals with high (vs. low) openness were about 3% more likely to have friends who live further away, are of the opposite sex and another ethnicity, and whom they meet less often. Agreeableness and extroversion were related to more traditional friendship ties. Individuals with high agreeableness had known their friends for a longer time, lived close to them, and had more “stay-at-homes” among their friends.

Published in

Social Psychological and Personality Science





Social Networks, Social Capital, Social Behaviour, and Social Psychology


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