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In this work, we are exploring the internals and effects of partner selection on spatial and social dynamics and clashes. We are considering two different social settings: (a) one involving imitation dynamics that is exemplified by a modified Axelrod cultural simulation model extended with a Moore neighborhood, heterogeneous sets of cultural features per agent and a number of psychologically realistic, basic and more advanced, conceptual models of cultural affinity perception and imitation, and (b) one involving game-like interaction dynamics that is exemplified by a model of social noisy IPD interaction with an additional attraction mechanism that makes agents unconditionally cooperative toward attractive opponents. In both models, a simple mechanism of partner selection has been found to modify the social environment by allowing different types of social structures to emerge, such as fast built cultural homogeneous groups in the case of cultural simulation or groups of interacting cooperative agents that are attracted by one another in the case of IPD with attraction. We are identifying a number of cognitive factors that are used to model partner selection, namely memory depth, learning speed and openness, and we study the phenomena obtained. We are finally discussing how these factors may be studied and taken into account when designing complex sociotechnical systems.