A quality that people look for in relationships is kindness, suggested a new study published in the Journal of Personality. The study research team picked over 2,700 college students from across the globe and asked them to build themselves an ideal life-long partner by using a fixed budget to ‘buy’ characteristics. While traits like physical attractiveness and financial prospects were important, the one quality that was given highest priority was kindness.
The study compared the dating preferences of students from Eastern countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and Western countries such as the UK, Norway and Australia.
Students were given eight attributes they could spend ‘mate dollars’ on — good financial prospects, physical attractiveness, kindness, humour, chastity, religiosity, the desire for children and creativity.
People typically spent 22-26 per cent of their total budget on kindness and large parts of their budget on physical attractiveness and good financial prospects, while traits like creativity and chastity received less than 10 per cent.
The results also showed a difference in a partner’s desire for children, which was a priority only for Western women.