Psychology behind dating sites
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and conventional wisdom both suggest that love is a fundamental human need. A survey conducted in 2013 found that 77% of people considered it “very important” to have their smartphones with them at all times.Most people meet their significant others through their social circles or work/school functions. In the search for a potential date, more and more people are switching to less traditional methods. With the rise and rise of apps like Tinder (and the various copycat models) who could blame them.The actor and science communicator Alan Alda has spoken of the need at times for us to: Apply that to dating and perhaps what you’ll discover is someone you actually like.The research I’ve looked at suggests that in this domain at least, you’re more likely to succeed if you follow the Alda route.Humans are remarkably adept at navigating complex social worlds and instinctively picking up on familiar signs that might indicate compatibility.As a species we’ve been doing this for millions of years; as individuals all our lives.Not only is it difficult to guess what others will find attractive in us, but we also can’t be sure what we really want in our partners until we meet them. It’s based on research I did for my book , published by Oneworld this week.Although 21Pictures is a fully functional dating site, it is also a social experiment, since it offers various new approaches that haven’t really been tried before.
System 1, by contrast, is fast, automatic and emotion-led, driven by far older neural circuits; it operates automatically and with little sense of agency. Effective decision-making requires both systems – but sometimes it is better to use one over the other. In the real (offline) world, sussing out a potential partner is – at least in the beginning – indisputably a system 1 activity.Walk into a room full of people and it won’t take you long to pick out those who appeal to you, based on the colour of their shirt, the style of their shoes, how they speak, or the countless other indicators that work beneath our conscious awareness. Try deliberating your way through all those social signals and weighing them up based on their individual merits and you’ll end up making some strange choices, or going home single.