Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009 Jun;96(6):1152-65. doi: 10.1037/a0014468.

In the eye of the beholder: perceived, actual, and peer-rated similarity in personality, communication, and friendship intensity during the acquaintanceship process.

Author information

  • 1Research Centre Adolescent Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The authors examined associations of perceived similarity, actual similarity, and peer-rated similarity in personality with friendship intensity during the acquaintanceship process in a naturalistic setting. Self- and peer-rated personality data were gathered from undergraduates (mean age = 18.9) at 5 time points during the first year of university using a round-robin design. Whereas perceived similarity and peer-rated similarity in personality were concurrently associated with more friendship intensity for just-acquainted individuals, actual similarity in personality was not. Further, bidirectional cross-lagged associations between perceived similarity and friendship intensity were found. Peer-rated similarity was also associated with increases in friendship intensity, and this association was mediated by communication frequency. These results indicate that specific types of similarity in personality are differentially associated with friendship intensity during early phases of acquaintanceship in a real-life setting. Further, insight was provided in the direction of causality between similarity and attraction: Perceived and peer-rated similarity seem to breed friendship intensity, whereas friendship intensity seems to breed perceived similarity only. Finally, peers' expectations seem to affect individuals' communicative behaviors, which in turn affect friendship formation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Support Center