Dating events across

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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.

They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.

The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world.

The authors found that when the available prospects varied more in attributes such as age, height, occupation and educational background, people made fewer dating proposals.

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

’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.

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.

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