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Those with children preferred those with children; those without preferred those without.
And people generally prefer those of their own religion.
We make genetic discoveries by combining DNA from saliva samples with thousands of survey questions, some of which you might find on a dating site — “Have you ever cheated on a long-term relationship partner or spouse?
” — but many you wouldn’t — “Has a doctor ever diagnosed you with Parkinson’s disease?
Before we even meet, myriad forces guide us away from people who are different from us — work, schooling, e Harmony’s algorithm.
In general, widely considered positive traits, Dan Ariely, an economist who studies online dating, refers to traits where everyone prefers the same thing as examples of “vertical preferences,” as opposed to “horizontal preferences,” when people prefer those who are similar.
He also finds that horizontal preferences are more important in producing the “birds of a feather” effect.
These couples have actually met (and mated, though we don’t know if they’re still together), they’re sometimes answering questions about matters of life and death, and they have much less incentive to lie.
Here, too, my 23and Me colleague Aaron Kleinman and I found that birds of a feather flock together: For 97 percent of the traits we examined, couples were positively correlated.