Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Falling in Love in Three Minutes or Less

14.02.2005


It seems that the heart wants what the heart wants -- and it can figure it out fairly quickly, according to evolutionary psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers studied dating data from 10,526 anonymous participants of HurryDate, a company that organizes "speed dating" sessions, and found rare behavioral data on how people genuinely act in dating situations.



"Some people say they’re looking for one kind of person, then choose another. Other people say that don even know what theye looking for. But our data suggest that, however it happens, people know it quickly when they see it," said Robert Kurzban, an assistant professor in Penn Department of Psychology. "People generally understand their own worth on the dating market, so they are able to judge each otherspotential compatibility within moments of meeting."

At each HurryDate party, roughly 25 men and 25 women interact with each other for three minutes at a time. At the end of the session, each participant indicates which of the people he or she met would be of interest for the future. HurryDate also collects survey data from participants, including age, height, education, income, drinking behavior, smoking behavior, race and religion. For this study, HurryDate also collected answers to optional questions about such things as how participants rate their own attractiveness and sexuality.


"Although they had three minutes, most participants made their decision based on the information that they probably got in the first three seconds," Kurzban said. "Somewhat surprisingly, factors that you might think would be really important to people, like religion, education and income, played very little role in their choices."

Psychology has often viewed relationships as transactions where people select mates based on substantial qualities a mate has to offer, such as power and money. According to Kurzban, the data show that, when people meet face-to-face, things like smoking preferences and bank accounts don seem to loom large in intricate complexities of attraction.

"The speed dating offered us, as psychologists, something that we rarely get in conducting research: a systematic look at the genuine behavior of people selecting mates," Kurzban said. "The actual behavior of people is worth more to us than their stated beliefs. In this case, because participants might suffer the consequences of a bad date with someone who might look compatible on paper, they had more incentive to follow their hearts and desires. Behavior, more than self-reports, give us an important window into the underlying psychology of mating."

Kurzban got the idea to study speed dating when he saw an ad for HurryDate and realized it represented a potential treasure trove of data. Kurzban teamed with Jason Weeden who was working on his doctorate in psychology at the time, to study and interpret the data.

The researchers caution that speed dating is not necessarily typical of how people usually interact. Their findings might or might not characterize long-term dating relationships.

Their findings will be presented in an upcoming issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

Hurry Brands LLC, the parent company of HurryDate, did not fund Kurzban and Weeden in their research, but they did absorb the costs of compiling and generating the anonymous data for use in the study.

Note to TV producers and assignment editors: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus television studio with satellite uplink, live-shot capability for interviews with Penn experts.

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>