Partner selection

Throughout their life, people create their own partner preferences that can be influenced, for example, by their parents. One of the ways of influence is a so-called imprinting-like effect, when children learn the characteristics of their parents that they later prefer in their partners.

Partner preferences however may not exactly match actual partner selection. It may, for instance, be because of the varied importance with which different characteristics play a role in choosing a partner, it is therefore not necessary for a potential partner to fulfill ideal ideas in all characteristics.

For already established couples, it is common for partners to show similarity in a range of psychological, physical and socio-demographic characteristics. This phenomenon is called positive assortative pairing (homogamy), which may be the result of preference for similar partners or of place of acquaintance (eg. at school, at work, etc.).

Our group has long been concerned with the discrepancy between partner preferences and actual choice, parental choice of partner and research of assortative pairing. At the same time, we focus on the impact of the factors mentioned above on partner satisfaction and relationship stability. We have long been studying partner relationships among heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals across different cultures.

Our research is currently focused on:

– The importance of different characteristics in relationship formation

– Assessing one’s own attractiveness when choosing a partner

– Testing self-similarity of heterosexual and non-heterosexual couples and its impact on partner satisfaction

– Testing similarity between partner and parent of opposite gender in personality, body scent, voice and facial features

– Consistency when selecting a partner

– Categorization of partner relationships

These topics are studied by:

Zuzana Štěrbová, Jan Havlíček, Lucie Kuncová, Zsófia Csajbók, Yesim Semchenko