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Modern Westerners brought up on a steady diet of popular songs and romantic movies tend to believe that interpersonal attraction and mate selection are both random and very subjective. Popular culture propagates the notion of "love at first sight" and teaches us that "love is blind, "love just happens," and "you can't help who you fall in love with." Research shows, however, that this is not necessarily true and that, in reality, society aims Cupid's arrow more than we like to think. In this exercise we explore the concepts of homogamy, routine activities, social networks, and mere exposure by examining how similar respondents are to their partners on a variety of social characteristics and how they met and became involved with their partners.
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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