Speed dating psychology research
The present research identified powerful consequences of a particularly subtle gender bias: the near-universal tendency to have men rotate and women sit at heterosexual speed-dating events.
"At first blush, this rotational scheme feels like an arbitrary, trivial solution to the logistical problem of ensuring that all of the women speed-date all of the men and vice versa.
As you might expect, our field has started studying speed dating interactions to distill the basic elements of initial interpersonal attraction. (Eastwick, Finkel, Mochon, & Ariely, 2007)– In platonic (non-romantic) interactions, liking others makes a person better liked, regardless of whether that liking seems selective or automatic.
But in romantic interactions, it’s essential that one give off an air of selectivity.
First, a bit of background: speed dating began in the late 90’s in LA, and has rapidly spread since.
When I discovered that two dear friends of mine were about to try speed dating for the first time, I couldn’t help offering some (yes, unsolicited) terribly handy research-based advice: “Be selective!
The present results, however, present a cautionary note: Even subtle gender norms can have important consequences for romantic dynamics.
Indeed, when researchers adopt a procedure without controlling for it, they risk missing a component of what they study.
We're thrilled to have this talented researcher and writer contribute to the blog.
In this post she'll be discussing research on speed dating.
Given that men are generally expected, if not required (as at professional speed-dating events), to approach in romantic contexts, perhaps this factor alone could be sufficient to explain why women tend to be more selective than men.