Numbers game online dating
Once participants arrived at the speed-dating location, they went on approximately 12 dates, each lasting four minutes.Between dates, they completed a two-minute questionnaire about their feelings toward the person they’d just met. It was easy to predict people who were generally friendly and people who were exceptionally picky.
We might say that we would never date a political conservative, say, or an atheist.(Although Tinder and other swipe-based dating apps don’t try to make specific matches, Tinder does use algorithms based on swiping behavior to identify people whom others find desirable.) But matters of the human heart are hard to predict—as psychologists Samantha Joel, Paul Eastwick, and Eli Finkel found out when they conducted their own speed-dating events.The study, forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science, had 350 college-aged participants attend the researchers’ speed-dating events.The researchers later compared the algorithm’s predictions to participants’ actual reports of romantic desire. But the machines had zero ability to match a specific person with another person.Joel, who teaches at the University of Utah, didn’t seem surprised that machines performed so poorly.By doing some rational, logical, methodical screening of your dates before meeting them, you’ll have a better chance of a high quality date and at the very least, an enjoyable conversation with a new friend.
My biggest concern was about how to write my dating profile. Alice and I were married two and a half years later, and we’ve been together ever since. We’re parents to two children we adopted from birth, Beverly “Bevy” (age 2) and Ellis (age 4 months). But, according to recent psychological research, I don’t have algorithms to thank for my marital bliss—I just got lucky.
I also struggled with opening up with strangers, and I thought this trait would hamper my ability to find the woman of my dreams. Machines are clueless about who we will find romantically desirable, and so they make horrible matchmakers.
Then I found out that I didn’t have to write a profile at all: All I needed to do was fill out some basic personal information. One day, I received an email from the service with a picture of my ideal match. In some cases, machine learning excels at spotting patterns and making predictions.
So maybe online dating services that use this kind of algorithm will have a tough time identifying two people who will find each other romantically desirable.
That doesn’t mean people should avoid going online to find a mate.
Take that course you’ve been thinking about, write that blog, cuddle that dog – whatever is meaningful for you. Develop a belief that you deserve love and you are in the process of achieving it.