Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two papers debunking speeddating for serious dating

Two NEW & FRESH papers debunking speeddating for serious dating (also a big punch to Behavioural recommender systems like IntroAnalytics, VisualDNA, the one used at PlentyOfFish or other system that learns your preferences)

"Why Mate Choices are not as Reciprocal as we Assume: The Role of Personality, Flirting and Physical Attractiveness" (2010)
..... Lars Penke, ....

Results show that actual mate choices are not reciprocal although people strongly expect their choices to be reciprocated and flirting behaviour is indeed strongly reciprocal. This interesting pattern of results was explained by investigating individual and dyadic effects of flirting, self-perceived mate value and physical attractiveness on mate choices. Results have important implications for understanding mating behaviour, sex differences and the (in)accuracies of mating decisions.

"From Dating to Mating and Relating: Predictors of Initial and Long-Term Outcomes of Speed-Dating in a Community Sample" (2010)
..... Lars Penke, ....

We studied initial and long-term outcomes of speed-dating over a period of 1 year in a community sample involving 382 German participants aged 18–54 years. They were followed from their initial choices of dating partners up to later mating (sexual intercourse) and relating (romantic relationship). Using Social Relations Model analyses, we examined evolutionarily informed hypotheses on both individual and dyadic effects of participants' physical characteristics, personality with Five Factor Model (FFM), education and income on their dating, mating and relating.
The online questionnaire assessed demographic details, health status, stable personality traits and relationship and sexual history including questions about women's contraception usage and menstrual cycle.
Both men and women based their choices mainly on the dating partners' physical attractiveness, and women additionally on men's sociosexuality, openness to experience, shyness, education and income. Choosiness increased with age in men, decreased with age in women and was positively related to popularity among the other sex, but mainly for men.
Partner similarity had only weak effects on (speed)dating success. The chance for mating with a speed-dating partner was 6%, and was increased by men's short-term mating interest; the chance for relating was 4%, and was increased by women's long-term mating interest.
Another way of looking at the probabilities of 6% and 4% is to convert them into time and money spent on multiple speeddating events, assuming independence of the outcomes of each event. Assuming that one has to pay 30 Euros for a speed-dating event lasting 3 hours including everything, finding a relationship partner requires investing 75 hours and 750 Euros on average.
Also confirmed was our expectation that similarity of the dating partners facilitates reciprocated choices. However, after controlling for individual effects the similarity effect was only significant for facial attractiveness. Kurzban and Weeden (2005) found similarity effects for height and BMI, whereas Luo and Zhang (2009) did not find any significant effect for 44 tests of similarity. Together, these findings suggest that similarity effects are weak in studies of brief real dating interactions. This result is different from the conclusions from questionnaire studies of attraction to hypothetical partners, from dyadic interaction studies where similarity effects are confounded with individual effects, and from studies of similarity in couples that regularly find clear similarity effects even after controlling for individual effects (Klohnen & Luo, 2003). It seems that similarity effects need more time to emerge than the 3 minutes provided by speed-dating.

Finally, our expectation that women's mating is predicted by the short-term mating preferences of their male matches, whereas men's relating is predicted by the long-term preferences by their female matches was confirmed both 6 weeks and 1 year after speeddating.

[Remember: People often report partner preferences that are not compatible with their choices in real life. uncovered by Eastwick & Finkel (2008); Kurzban & Weeden (2005-2007); Alison P. Lenton,  Lars Penke, Peter M. Todd and Barbara Fasolo (2007)]

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