Prior research by Lenton and Francesconi provides some insight into why people might struggle with speed dating.They found that when the number of participants in a speed-dating event increases, people lean more heavily on innate guidelines, known as heuristics, in their decision making.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.
This effect was particularly strong when individuals were faced with a large number of partners.
As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.
I made some beginner’s mistakes; however, I am not alone in having struggled with speed dating.
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.
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.
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.
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