Men and women make mating decisions very differently, he speculates.Men tend to act like single-issue voters: If a prospect is not attractive enough, he or she usually doesn’t qualify for a first date, period.Edward Royzman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asks me to list four qualities on a piece of paper: physical attractiveness, income, kindness, and fidelity.
Here, then, is how to date online like a social scientist.
Tinder offers a one-sentence tagline and a selection of five photos, including the all-important first photo, or “calling card,” as the writer Amanda Lewis put it.
The more I allocate to each attribute, the more highly I supposedly value that quality in a mate.
This experiment, which Royzman sometimes runs with his college classes, is meant to inject scarcity into hypothetical dating decisions in order to force people to prioritize.
She launched Face Mate in 2011, drawing on her opinion that people in happy relationships tend to resemble each other.
The site matches the photos of its users based on their faces’ bone structure using face-scanning techniques and a computer algorithm.
I think for a second, and then I write equal amounts (70) next to both hotness and kindness, then 40 next to income and 20 next to fidelity.“Oh wow,” he says.“What? Usually women allocate more to fidelity and less to physical attractiveness.
Maybe you think fidelity is something people can cultivate over time?
Hockey players with wider faces, considered a sign of aggression, spend more time in the penalty box.
It takes longer, more meaningful interactions, however, to pinpoint other traits, like if the prospective mate is open, agreeable, or neurotic.
This trait game, along with Royzman’s review of the literature on attraction, hints at some of the endless quirks of the online dating marketplace.