Dating sites claim to winnow a few ideal suitors out of a nigh-infinite pool of chaff. But the matches these algorithms offer may be no better than picking partners at random, a study finds.
Researchers asked about 350 heterosexual undergrads at Northwestern University to fill out questionnaires assessing their personalities and romantic preferences.
They were quizzed about things like self-esteem, goals, values, loneliness, what they were looking for in a partner, and how assertive or patient or creative they want the partner to be — and how much those things apply to them, says Samantha Joel, a psychologist at the University of Utah and lead author on the study, which was published last week in Psychological Science. “Lots of traits that have been theorized to be important for relationships in past literature.”
Then the participants went on four-minute speed dates and rated how attracted they felt to each person.
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