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Our design allows us to directly observe individual decisions rather than just final matches.
Women put greater weight on the intelligence and the race of partner, while men respond more to physical attractiveness.
AS A PSYCHOLOGIST, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating.
During a series of mini dates, each spanning no more than a couple of minutes, participants in a speed-dating event evaluate a succession of eligible singles.
They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.
The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world.
We study dating behavior using data from a Speed Dating experiment where we generate random matching of subjects and create random variation in the number of potential partners.
One speed-dating company in New York City, for example, holds a gathering almost every day.
Last year online coupon company Groupon hosted the world’s largest speed-dating event, with 414 attendees crammed into a restaurant in Chicago.
The women would sit, for the duration of the evening, against the wall, along the long, low couch that ringed the room, and the men would rotate from woman to woman, moving to the next chair whenever Kailynn rang a bell, signaling that the six minutes were over.
The dates were each given a badge, a number, and a short form, with the instructions that if they liked someone after the six minutes, they should check the box next to his or her number, and if this person whose box they checked also checked their box, both would be notified of each other’s email address within twenty-four hours. Several people made a last minute dash for the bathroom. The men and women took their places, and immediately a surge of conversation filled the room.
Finally, male selectivity is invariant to group size, while female selectivity is strongly increasing in group size.