ERIC Number: ED249417
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Testing "Compatibility Testing."
Robins, Elliot; Huston, Ted L.
Most models of marital choice are attempts to explain choices within the field of available eligibles. The essence of compatibility testing is that people select their mates by evaluating the match between psychological characteristics after sorting the available field on the basis of social characteristics. A compatibility model seems to require that either perceived compatibility in itself increases commitment, or that actual compatibility provides a higher proportion of rewarding interactions and thus increases commitment. However, the compatibility testing models require more dating experience than most people have. Data from the Pennsylvania State University PAIR Project, a longitudinal study of 168 newlywed couples, supports this argument. Couples were interviewed regarding their dating history for the 5 years prior to dating their spouse exclusively. Results showed husbands reported an average of 2.6, and wives reported an average of 2.21 more-than-casual dating partners other than the spouse. Over half of the subjects had two or fewer regular dating partners other than the spouse, compared to the 11 dating partners suggested by the compatibility testing model. Results cast doubt on the image of compatibility testing as involving a wide search through a field of available eligibles. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (St. Paul, MN, October 11-15, 1983).