Speed dating was invented by

’s free newsletters."data-newsletterpromo-image="https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/458BF87F-514B-44EE-B87F5D531772CF83_source.png"data-newsletterpromo-button-text="Sign Up"data-newsletterpromo-button-link="https:// origincode=2018_sciam_Article Promo_Newsletter Sign Up"name="article Body" itemprop="article Body" AS A PSYCHOLOGIST, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating.During a series of mini dates, each spanning no more than a couple of minutes, participants in a speed-dating event evaluate a succession of eligible singles.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.Following approximately four minutes of conversation, a bell is rung, the men proceed to the next lady, and another four-minute speed date begins. Following each speed date, participants mark on a card whether they would have an interest in meeting their date again.If a mutual interest is noted, meaning that the person you have picked has also picked you, the organizers provide each party with the other's contact information (email and nickname). You arrange to meet and start getting to know each other.Speed dating, by comparison, offers the opportunity to chat up many eligible singles in rapid succession.In a typical speed-dating event, participants pair off at individual tables and chairs for a few minutes of conversation.

Results observed in the world of online dating support this finding.

Even if meet-and-greet matching events might seem like the most efficient way to comb through many options at once, a wealth of data reveals that the context in which we make a choice weighs heavily on the outcome.

Speed-dating events can promote a particular decision-making style that might not always work in our favor.

In a study in 2011 in the journal , University of Edinburgh psychologist Alison P.

Lenton and University of Essex economist Marco Francesconi analyzed more than 3,700 dating decisions across 84 speed-dating events.

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