Dating newspaper articles
When it comes to the early stage of dating, it seems to be all about the deal breakers.
" data-medium-file="https://shawglobalnews.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/spring-break-cancun.jpg? quality=70&strip=all&w=300" data-large-file="https://shawglobalnews.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/spring-break-cancun.jpg? quality=70&strip=all&w=720" / The Bank of Canada building is pictured in Ottawa on September 6, 2011.A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City."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.But beyond someone's looks, how much do any of these factors matter for mate selection?
One complication is that online daters are not making just one decision, but several in a series: First, people are swiping their way through profiles and deciding which to dismiss immediately or browse more closely.
But the biggest deal breaker of all turned out to be age, at least for women.
All other factors being equal, women overall were 400 times less likely to browse the profile of a man significantly older than herself. Whereas 20-year-old women were 10 times more likely to ignore a man 10 years her senior, 45-year-old women were nearly 10% more likely to browse the profile of a man 55 or older compared with a man her own age.
Those 30 million people have generated billions of pieces of data.
And because most dating sites ask users to give consent for their data to be used for research purposes, this online courting has played out like an enormous social science experiment, recording people's moment-by-moment interactions and judgments.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, men in their 40s tend to be more interested in younger women. "Women care quite a bit more about the height of their partners than vice-versa," Bruch says.