Speech similarities may help predict love match

Monday, March 3rd, 2014. Filed under: Health & Fitness
©Minerva Studio/shutterstock.com

©Minerva Studio/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – A researcher from Texas Tech University has found that people who use the same kind of “function words” are more likely to get together.

Molly Ireland, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Psychology specializing in human dialogue, and her associates analyzed speed dating results and discovered a link between function-word similarity and the likelihood of second dates.

Examples of function words are personal pronouns such as ‘he,’ ‘she’ and ‘it,’ conjunctions such as ‘and,’ ‘but,’ ‘nor’ ‘and ‘or,’ and articles such as ‘a,’ ‘an’ and ‘the.’

“Romantic relationships have a huge influence on our health and well-being, and I think that conversation is a big part of what makes those relationships succeed or fail at every stage — from first dates to marriages,’ Ireland said.

Ireland and fellow researchers Rich Slatcher of Wayne State University and James Pennebaker and Paul Eastwick of University of Texas at Austin reviewed 40 heterosexual speed dates and used special computers to analyze participants’ language. In addition to discovering a connection between similar function words and love matches, Ireland and her team also found language similarity to be a an “even better predictor of relationship stability” than variables including perceived similarity and relationship quality, and how many words were spoken throughout each conversation.

“People…aren’t very good at predicting ahead of time what they’ll find attractive on a date,” Ireland noted. So in a way, language predicts what people want in a partner better than they do themselves.”

Ireland also remarked that conversation content may not be as important as language and language style. She and her team believe language-style matching indicates that people are focusing on their date/conversation partner rather than one themselves or their surroundings.

This research builds on previous studies by Ireland, including one measuring behavior-matching with language-style matching, or how people benefit when “matching each other’s language use or nonverbal behavior” during a conversation. Ireland has also looked at language-style matching as a predictor of “relationship initiation and stability” and found, much like her current research, that “interpersonal similarity plays an important role in the development of romantic relationships.”

Share Button

Related posts

Big weddings, few partners could be the formula for a happy marriage: studyFor good conversation, mobile devices should be neither seen nor heard: studyAdd spark to your relationship by going on a double dateFacebook may predict whether or not your relationship will lastWhy real-life Wills and Graces enjoy deep friendshipsMagnolia-jasmine aroma could make you a hot ticket: studyWe were made to love and love again: studyLooking for love online? Find it by being real: studyYour friends could predict your lifespan: studyMusicians may have an edge when it comes to long-term memoryHigh heels could bring out the best in men: studyLost languages leave a mark on the brainOnline dating: good for finding partners, bad for keeping them?Memories of the seemingly mundane bring us joy: studyOkCupid admits toying with users to find love formulaDo women talk more than men? It depends on the situation: studyDoes a healthy heart start with a healthy marriage?‘Mars, Venus’ author warns over sex in online worldResearch sheds new light on how bilingual children learn wordsCan perfume make you appear more attractive?