Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Xiaowen Xu

Committee Members

Jaclyn Moloney

Jorge Terukina


Previous research on close relationships highlights the importance of similarities between individuals in a relationship. Studies have shown a recent propensity to avoid individuals who differ in political opinions. In two studies, using measures of political ideology and relationship satisfaction, the present research examined how political differences related to relationship satisfaction in romantic relationships (Study 1) and friendships (Study 2). We found that participants in romantic relationships expressed decreased relationship satisfaction if they perceived larger political differences between themselves and their partners. These results remained robust even after controlling for demographics and individual differences. We also found that friendships are deemed as less satisfying if participants perceived larger political differences between themselves and their friend. The friendship effects, however, were less robust than the romantic relationship effects. These findings contribute to a greater understanding of close relationship endurance and factors that affect relationship satisfaction.