The similarity-attraction effect is a global phenomenon that has been primarily studied through the lens of one-on-one interactions. This robust effect illustrates how people come to like one another based solely on having shared opinions. This study looks to expand prior research on this effect as well as study the individual response to others based on their levels of empathy in conjunction with the similarity-attraction effect. Participants were 130 Mechanical Turk workers. Based on previous research on the similarity-attraction effect, and, consequently, empathy, the current study explores these elements and how they can affect interpersonal relationships, but within a group dynamic and not one-on-one interactions. Data were collected using an online survey. The three dependent variables for this study were perceived liking, perceived intelligence, and interest in working with the given group. Empathy operated as an independent variable. Results showed interactions between political party affiliation and condition for each dependent variable. Empathy also emerged as an independent predictor of these outcomes. Implications and future research are discussed.


Luttrell, Andrew




Social Psychology


Social Psychology, Empathy, Similarity-Attraction

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2017 Sarah C. Bacon Ehlers