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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.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.Very generally speaking, good looks and youthful vigor are indeed useful metrics for mating because they signal health.Yet if lifelong love is what you are after, a smorgasbord of singles might propel you to make stereotypical selections.It sounds simple, but each variable in the design of the event can affect the daters’ outcomes.In spite of maxims about so many fish in the sea, for example, recent research tells us that the heart prefers a smaller pond.These rules of thumb are evolutionarily adaptive, however, and not necessarily a bad thing.Millions of years of experimentation with different heuristics, conducted in a range of environments, have led us to learn which ones are most effective.
Lenton and University of Essex economist Marco Francesconi analyzed more than 3,700 dating decisions across 84 speed-dating events.
Additionally, in speed-dating events where the characteristics of the daters varied much more, most participants did not follow up with any of their matches.
Results observed in the world of online dating support this finding.
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.
Online dating, too, has its drawbacks, requiring hours to sift through profiles and craft careful introductory e-mails before arranging to meet in person.They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.