The authors found that when the available prospects varied more in attributes such as age, height, occupation and educational background, people made fewer dating proposals. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables it is Dutch. Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. A similar argument could be made for speed dating, in which the conversation can resemble an interview more than a fun experience. Online dating, too, has its drawbacks, requiring hours to sift through profiles and craft careful introductory e-mails before arranging to meet in person. Yet if lifelong love is what you are after, a smorgasbord of singles might propel you to make stereotypical selections. It is equally important when choosing between jams at the grocery store and partners to date; the only difference is the stakes. Independent evaluators then rated the characteristics as either searchable or experiential. In essence, heuristics are ingrained rules of thumb that allow us to save effort by ignoring some of the information available to us when we evaluate our options. As it turns out, I like to talk—a lot. This article was published in print as "Shopping for Love. A study in by Lenton and Barbara Fasolo of the London School of Economics and Political Science indicates that participants often misjudge how the number of options available to them will affect their feelings. For example, in those events with a relatively large number of participants, the researchers discovered that people attend predominantly to easily accessible features, such as age, height, physical attractiveness, and so forth, rather than clues that are harder to observe, for example, occupation and educational achievement.
Too Much of a Good Thing? In essence, heuristics are ingrained rules of thumb that allow us to save effort by ignoring some of the information available to us when we evaluate our options. As it turns out, I like to talk—a lot. Know Your Environment One problem with both speed dating and online dating may arise from how we hunt for the things we want. To obtain more experiential information, try telling a joke or casually mentioning that you plan to go, say, bungee jumping next month to see how he or she reacts. Some items can be found with a simple search targeted at objective qualities. Yet we need not be passive victims of our circumstances. As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life. This article was published in print as "Shopping for Love. Becoming aware of that malleability in our taste, and gaining control over our decision-making strategies in response, is known as ecological rationality. One speed-dating company in New York City, for example, holds a gathering almost every day. Variety Is Confusing in Mate Choice. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables it is Dutch. Yet if lifelong love is what you are after, a smorgasbord of singles might propel you to make stereotypical selections. They found that when the number of participants in a speed-dating event increases, people lean more heavily on innate guidelines, known as heuristics, in their decision making. Lenton and University of Essex economist Marco Francesconi analyzed more than 3, dating decisions across 84 speed-dating events. Decisions, Decisions Traditional dating can seem haphazard, contingent on seemingly minor details such as whether you signed up for the right yoga class or patronized the same bar as your future love interest. They asked 47 single men and women to list the qualities they look for in people they would consider either marrying or dating. These rules of thumb are evolutionarily adaptive, however, and not necessarily a bad thing. Knowing how your environment influences your mind-set, a quality known as ecological rationality, can help you make the choices that are best for you. Results observed in the world of online dating support this finding. In an upcoming book, Lenton, Fasolo and their colleagues summarize the key message of recent research: A study in by Lenton and Barbara Fasolo of the London School of Economics and Political Science indicates that participants often misjudge how the number of options available to them will affect their feelings. Prior research by Lenton and Francesconi provides some insight into why people might struggle with speed dating. Independent evaluators then rated the characteristics as either searchable or experiential. Speed dating, by comparison, offers the opportunity to chat up many eligible singles in rapid succession.
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