Friendship Preferences: Examining Desirable and Undesirable Traits in a Friend

Menelaos Apostolou, Panagiota Vetsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Friendship constitutes a human universal, with people across different times and places forming friendly relationships. Yet, people are selective in whom they befriend. The current research aimed to identify friendship preferences, that is, the traits that people find desirable or undesirable in a friend. More specifically, Study 1 employed open-ended questionnaires and identified 50 traits that participants preferred their friends to have, and 43 traits that they preferred their friends not to have. Study 2 employed a sample of 706 Greek-speaking participants and classified desirable traits into 10 broader factors; the most important one was being honest, followed by being ethical, pleasant, and available. Study 3 employed a sample of 865 Greek-speaking participants and classified undesirable traits into three broader factors. The most undesirable one was being dishonest, followed by being competitive and being impatient. In both studies, women tended to give higher scores than men. In addition, significant age effects were found for most factors in both studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEvolutionary Psychological Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Evolution of friendship
  • Friendship
  • Friendship preferences
  • Friendship value


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