Humbleness is the ‘most attractive’ trait to both sexes
Being humble is deemed as the most attractive trait in a romantic partner, while arrogance and egotism are huge turn-offs for both men and women, a series of three new studies have revealed.
Psychologists at Hope College in Michigan set out to investigate which qualities are considered to be the most appealing and unappealing to men and women in romantic relationships.
The research involved three studies. In the first, 41 students created dating profiles and answered personality questions. They were told that others would see their results and they would be able to look at the profiles of other students.
But in fact, each participant was shown the same profile and personality scores of a fictional potential date, whose qualities included being conscientious, extraverted and open. However, the mock profile was shown as scoring high in humbleness to some students and not humble to others.
Male and female participants awarded a higher rating to the humble profile than the non-humble one, and were more inclined to give them their phone number and to meet them.
The second study involved 133 students and was similar to the first, except the mock profile used statements rather than personality scores. These included humble comments such as 'other people say I'm smart, but I don't like the attention' and non-humble statements like 'I'm a really good student and pretty smart. I guess it just comes naturally'.
It was found that men and women preferred the profile of the first statement rather than the second – which they said implied arrogance.
In the last study, 416 participants in real-life relationships – some long-distance – were questioned about their tendency to forgive after an argument and their partner's level of humility.
It was revealed that people in long-distance relationships were less forgiving, but those who deemed their partner as humble were more likely to forgive regardless of distance.
The researchers concluded: "Humility appears to be a personality trait that is desirable in romantic partners and useful for maintaining romantic relationships under strain."
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