Having a conscientious spouse benefits the professional life of the other partner, according to new research out of Washington University. When one or both partners are organized and dependable, the couple is more likely to share responsibilities, increasing the amount of attention that can be paid to their professional careers.

For the study, researchers tracked the behaviors of 4,544 married individuals over a five year period. They measured how couples divided household chores and made lifestyle decision. Data was also gathered on metrics like job satisfaction, wages over time, and promotions. Individuals were given personality surveys and categorized according to the standard OCEAN categories: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. 

"[Researchers] found that people with a more conscientious spouse tended to have higher job satisfaction, were promoted more often, and reported higher wages over a four year period."

It may be that that people with a conscientious partner are able to outsource more of the household chores or errands to their mates, thus allowing them to devote more time and energy to work.

The study also suggested that being conscientious about everyday occurrences (having predictable chores and making decisions together) was sufficient to improve satisfaction in the relationship and at work and that events need not be tragic (a hostile argument or a sick child) for cooperation to pay dividends. 

Watch Rutgers University anthropologist Lionel Tiger explain to Big Think how people go about choosing their mates. While location matters to everyone, men and women pursue different ways of attracting each other:

Read more at Scientific American

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