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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.
This effect was particularly strong when individuals were faced with a large number of partners.
Know Your Environment One problem with both speed dating and online dating may arise from how we hunt for the things we want.
Some items can be found with a simple search targeted at objective qualities.
A study in 2008 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.
Participants presented with a broad array of potential partners more closely aligned with their anticipated ideal did not experience greater emotional satisfaction than when presented with fewer options.
These rules of thumb are evolutionarily adaptive, however, and not necessarily a bad thing.
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.
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.