Start Dating research topics

Dating research topics

Nevertheless, research indicates that fundamental differences between the sexes have remained unchanged.

Not according to a study of more than 1 million interactions on a dating website published this week in the .

Instead, the results indicate that you are probably looking for "deal breakers," harshly eliminating those who do not live up to your standards. People met their romantic partners through the recommendations of friends, family, or even at real-world locations known as "bars." Whatever signals and decisions led people to couple up were lost to science. According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of Americans in a committed romantic relationship say they met their partner through an online dating site.

If a profile did not include a photo, for example, both men and women were 20 times less likely to even look at the rest of the person's profile.

Smoking was another big deal breaker, associated with a 10-fold drop in interest.

These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating.

"The science is absolutely solid." He suspects that deal breakers are more important at the early stage of mate selection when people are winnowing down a pool of candidates.

"I expect positive selection to kick in at a later stage of the search," he says.

Lin hopes that other dating sites will release similar data, because website design could play a bit part in how people make decisions.

"That men care about height at all is, we suspect, a function of their realizing they may get rejected if they aren't quite a bit taller than their potential mates," she adds.

But when it came to body weight, men were less likely to browse the profile of a woman who was heavy-set, whereas women showed little aversion to—with some showing even more interest in—heavier-set men.

Bruch's team devised a statistical model that maps the "decision rules" people follow during the first two steps.