Is there a science to dating


25-Feb-2017 12:05

A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.

Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City.

When it comes to the early stage of dating, it seems to be all about the deal breakers.

For one, prospective daters were wary of proceeding sight unseen.

Then comes the choice to send a person a message, or to reply to one.

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Instead, the results indicate that you are probably looking for "deal breakers," harshly eliminating those who do not live up to your standards. People met their romantic partners through the recommendations of friends, family, or even at real-world locations known as "bars." Whatever signals and decisions led people to couple up were lost to science. According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of Americans in a committed romantic relationship say they met their partner through an online dating site.

Besides photographs, each user's profile could include any number of personal details including age, height, weight, education, marital status, number of children, and smoking and drinking habits.

The data set includes some 1.1 million interactions between users.

"In most cases, these difficulties are not due to something wrong or broken, but due to people living in an environment which is very different from the" environment they evolved to function in.

In the new study, which was published online in the journal Personality and Individual Differences in October, Apostolou and his colleagues surveyed nearly 1,900 university students about their personal performance in dating.

These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating.



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