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Study aims to unlock mysteries of attraction

As human beings we constantly strive to achieve a state of happiness and wellbeing. Of course we are all different and therefore have varying ideas as to what exactly constitutes happiness. For example, to be happy some individuals need stability and calm whereas others require spontaneity and change.

When seeking a life partner or spouse, research suggests that some personality types seek out others with similar traits whereas others appears to be attracted to individuals with opposing personality traits. The theory of opposites attract is one that has been examined and discussed for years and one that Match.com's Chief Scientific Advisor recently aimed to study.

In a survey, Match.com users provided information about their personality traits. Users were then divided into one of four specific categories depending on the results of this survey. For example, individuals identified as being "serotonin-driven" want to know what to expect and desire calmness and consistency in their lives. By contrast "dopamine-oriented" people like things to be unpredictable and thrive when allowed to be creative and spontaneous. Additionally, "estrogen-oriented" people tend to be more emotional and intuitive whereas "testosterone-oriented" people are prone to be more analytical and skeptical.

After identifying users' personality traits, their profile histories were examined to determine the types of users to which they appeared to be most attracted. It turns out that in some cases, opposites do attract.

Users who identified as having personality traits most in-line with those classified as being "estrogen-oriented" were most attracted to and desired by those users who identified as "testosterone-oriented." However, users who identified as both "dopamine-oriented" and "serotonin-driven" were interestingly most attracted to others who shared their same personality traits.

While aspects of an individual's personality continue to be shaped by life experiences, many people simply are who they are. For an individual who was initially attracted to a spouse's stoicism or, conversely, ability to get in touch with and express his or her feelings, the same trait may eventually be viewed as a negative and could lead to a marriage's demise

Source: Headlines & Global News, "Opposites Atract For A Scientific Reason," Amanda Bernocco, Dec. 22, 2014

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