In a typical speed-dating event, participants pair off at individual tables and chairs for a few minutes of conversation.
When the buzzer sounds, half of the singles move to another chair and a different partner, in a kind of round robin.
After the event is over, the daters submit to the event’s organizers the names of the individuals they would like to see again.
It sounds simple, but each variable in the design of the event can affect the daters’ outcomes.
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Knowing how your environment influences your mind-set, a quality known as ecological rationality, can help you make the choices that are best for you.
Decisions, Decisions Traditional dating can seem haphazard, contingent on seemingly minor details such as whether you signed up for the right yoga class or patronized the same bar as your future love interest.
Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables (it is Dutch).
As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.
Online dating, too, has its drawbacks, requiring hours to sift through profiles and craft careful introductory e-mails before arranging to meet in person.
Speed dating, by comparison, offers the opportunity to chat up many eligible singles in rapid succession.
Results observed in the world of online dating support this finding.