Speed Dating is Survival of the Hottest

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Speed dating is huge now, but
be careful you know what you’re getting into. The latest psychological research
suggests your ‘great personality’ might not get ticks in boxes. So what have
psychologists found out so far?
Robert Kurzban and Jason
Weeden from the University of Pennsylvania investigated more than 10,000 speed
daters in the US. What their research showed was that many of the things that
had previously been found to be important in choosing a mate, like education,
income or smoking and drinking habits were found to be irrelevant in people’s
is relevant then? You guessed it:

  • 34% of women’s desirability
    was predicted by their physical attractiveness
  • 18.4% of men’s desirability
    was predicted by their physical attractiveness
The research is showing speed
dating is focussing people’s attention on physical attractiveness to an even
greater extent than normal. Three minutes, the standard amount of time each
speed date lasts, might well be two minutes and fifty-nine seconds more than
you need.
This means that the practical
advice when you go to a speed dating event is:

  • Be honest about your own
    physical attractiveness and, 
  • Aim for members of the opposite sex at a similar

in a longer encounter in the ‘real world’ you may have a chance with
those out of your league, but in speed dating it’s survival of the hottest.

the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD
is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from
University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about
scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book
“Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.