What is it about?

John Holland defined a typology of six vocational interests that lead people in their professional path. People with Realistic interests favor mechanical, manual, or outdoor activities, and those with Investigative interests prefer research activities, Artistic interests guide the expression and appreciation of arts. Individuals with higher Social interests prefer working with and helping others, those with high Enterprising interests prefer leadership, negotiation, and self-management, while Conventional types are accurate in data organization and problem-solving by adhering to rules. Regarding the idea of work-life balance, recent studies propose that professional decisions have their repercussions even outside the educational or occupational spheres. This study investigated the role of vocational interests in mate selection, specifically, whether romantic partners tend to be more similar than would be expected by chance in their job-related, vocational interests. A moderate tendency to select a partner with similar vocational interests was identified in the sample of 215 couples, especially based on interests for investigative professional activities. The results indicate these similarities are hardly a product of convergence (partner similarity in interests growing over time) or partner similarity in age and educational level. The analysis also shows that the active selection of a partner with similar interests is independent of preferences of partner similarity in personality traits.

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Why is it important?

This study suggests that people might select their partners based on similar vocational interests, independently of the social background where partners meet or their similarity in personality traits.

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This page is a summary of: Do vocational interests matter for the selection of romantic partners? Evidence from variable‐ and couple‐centered approaches, Applied Psychology, May 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/apps.12396.
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