ABSTRACT This study examined perceived similarities and satisfaction among friends who interacted at workplace. Respondents were 200 working adults in Malaysia. They were asked to identify the number of friends of the same and different ethnicity and sex at their workplace and then rate their satisfaction with these friendships. They were also asked to rate similarities with friends across nine domains (physical appearance, interest, life , working , thinking , personality, values, general attitude, and intellectual ability). There were significant differences across domains and across categories of friends. More similarities were reported for working and among friends of the same ethnicity. Lowest similarities were reported for physical appearance and among friends of different ethnicity. Differences in relationship satisfaction were rather minimal, whereas the highest satisfaction was with friends of the same ethnicity. Perception of similarities was associated with higher relationship satisfaction, with the strongest effect in the category of friends of the same ethnicity. Relationship satisfaction across all categories was negatively correlated with stress.
Cite this paper
Hashim, I. , Mohd-Zaharim, N. & Khodarahimi, S. (2012). Perceived Similarities and Satisfaction among Friends of the Same and Different Ethnicity and Sex at Workplace. Psychology, 3, 621-625. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.38095.
 Aboud, F. E. (2003). The formation of in-group favoritism and out-group prejudice in young children: Are there distinct attitudes? Development Psychology, 39, 48-60.doi:10.1037/0012-1622.214.171.124
 Bellmore, A. D., Nishina, A., Witkow, M. R., Graham, S., & Juvonen, J. (2007). The influence of classroom ethnic composition on same—and other—ethnicity peer nominations in middle school. Social Development, 16, 720-740. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00404.x
 Aminudin, M. Y., Arifin, Z., Khaidzir, I., Fatimah W. H., Suzana, M. H., Siti, W. S., & Yuzana, M. Y. (2006). Pemetaan sikap etnik mengikut zon-zon di Malaysia. Prosiding Seminar Psikologi Pembangunan Komuniti ISM-UKM. Kuala Lumpur: Institut Sosial Malaysia.
 Breckler, S. J., Olson, J., & Wiggins, E. (2006). Social psychology alive. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth.
 Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2000). Aversive racism and selection decisions; 1989-1999. Psychological Science, 11, 315-319.doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00262
 Duck, S. W. (1973). Personality similarity and friendship choice: Similarity of what, when? Journal of Personality, 41, 543-558.
 Eiser, J. R., Morgan, M., Gammage, P., Brooks, N., & Kirby, R. (2009). Adolescent health behaviour and similarity-attraction: Friends share smoking habits (really), but much else besides. The British Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 339-348.
 Emerson, M. O., Kimbro, R. T., & Yancey, G. (2002). Contact theory extended: The effects of prior racial contact. Social Science Quarterly, 83, 745-761. doi:10.1111/1540-6237.00112
 Feddes, A. R., Noack, P., & Rutland, A. (2009). Direct and extended friendship effects on minority and majority children’s interethnic attitudes: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 80, 377-390. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01266.x
 Goel, S., Mason, W., & Watts, D. J. (2010). Real and perceived attitude agreement in social networks. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 611-621. doi:10.1037/a0020697
 Hashim, I. H. M. (2006). Who provides what: A study on interpersonal relationships of university students. Prosiding Seminar Psikologi Pembangunan Komuniti ISM-UKM. Kuala Lumpur: Institut Sosial Malaysia.
 Hashim, I. H. M. (2007). The development of friendships and its relationship with loneliness. 19th Asia-Pacific Social Work Conference, Penang, 4-6 September 2007.
 Hashim, I. H. M. (2007). Stress, coping and social supports in the adolescent years. Kajian Malaysia, 25, 97-115.
 Hashim, I. H. M. (2005). The development of social network at work- place for new teachers. Kajian Malaysia, 23, 35-61.
 Jussim. L., & Osgood, D. W. (1989). Influence of similarity among friends: An integrative model applied to incarcerated adolescents. Social Psychology Quarterly, 52, 98-112. doi:10.2307/2786910
 Pettygrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Journal of Person- ality and Social Psychology, 90, 751-783.
 Roberts, R., Phinney, J., Masse, L., Chen, Y., Roberts, C., & Romero, A. (1999). The structure of ethnic identity in young adolescents from diverse ethnocultural groups. Journal of Early Adolescence, 19, 301-302. doi:10.1177/0272431699019003001
 Rubin, Z. (1973). Liking and loving. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
 Selfhout, M., Denissen, J., Branje, S., & Meeus, W. (2009). In the eye of beholder: Perceived, actual and peer-rate similarity in personality, communication, and friendship intensity during the acquaintanceship process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1152- 1165. doi:10.1037/a0014468
 Werner, C., & Parmele, P. (1979). Similarity of activity preference among friends: Those who play together, stay together. Social Psychology Quarterly, 42, 62-66. doi:10.2307/3033874
 Verkutyen, M. (2002). Ethnic attitudes among minority and majority children: The role of ethnic identification, peer group victimization, and parents. Social Development, 11, 558-570.doi:10.1111/1467-9507.00215