First of all, Muslim youth develop very close friendships with their same-sex peers.
This "sisterhood" or "brotherhood" that develops when they are young continues throughout their lives, and serves as a network to become familiar with other families.
The research team discovered that non-religious participants found potential partners less desirable, and also less open to new experience, as their religious behaviour increased.
In a second study, participants judged potential partners who attended religious services frequently or infrequently, some of whom also disclosed that they were open to new experiences (with statements such as "I don't pretend my ethical perspective is the only one").
Learning about each other's religion can help couples better understand each other and other family members.
Even if a couple has decided on a particular religion for the family, and even if one or both partners are non-religious, it is important for each to appreciate the religious background of the other, which often is the religion of in-laws and other family members.
Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others.
Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another.
They found that non-religious participants in particular associated religious behaviour with less openness, and that this inference led them to devalue religious individuals as romantic partners.
In one experiment, religious and non-religious participants decided whether or not they would date forty possible romantic partners who varied in how frequently they attended religious services.
Now, new psychology research from New Zealand's University of Otago suggests this phenomenon--known as 'religious homogamy'--is partially a result of inferences about religious people's personalities.