Are you and your significant other meant to be?

in Article, News
February 14th, 2011

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Well, no one truly knows the answer to that question until they’re looking back on their life and reminiscing about the time they spent with their partner. However, a new theory suggests that certain subtleties in language style can determine compatibility between two people. This includes speaking as well as personal writing styles, from Facebook chat to an essay sample.

Researchers have postulated that the use of common words called “function words”, including ‘me’, ‘a’, ‘and’, ‘but’, as well as a number of other prepositions, pronouns, adverbs, etc. can at least estimate the compatibility of a couple. These researchers have devised an equation using the basic-level function words to determine “language style matching” (LSM). A higher LSM means more compatible writing styles, and ergo, a more compatible couple.

A study that analyzed the writing styles of online chats of various couples over the course of ten days revealed much about this theory. According to an article about this study in The Daily Telegraph, ”almost 80 percent of the couples whose writing style matched were still dating three months later, compared with approximately 54 percent of the couples who did not match as well.”

An online LSM generator has been created by this team of researchers. You can go to this site and insert various writing samples from IM chats to poetry. But this is not solely to determine compatibility in a relationship; you are able to compare writing styles of strangers, friends, and even two of your own pieces. I’ve tried it and find it to be intriguing at least. In no way would I assert that this is a completely accurate way to determine personality similarity, but it seems to me that it has some logic to it and is not as absurd as I had originally expected.

Language Style Matching Predicts Relationship Initiation and Stability- Association for Psychological Science

Scientists find true language of love – The Telegraph

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