Yet we need not be passive victims of our circumstances.
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.
Even if meet-and-greet matching events might seem like the most efficient way to comb through many options at once, a wealth of data reveals that the context in which we make a choice weighs heavily on the outcome.
Speed-dating events can promote a particular decision-making style that might not always work in our favor.
They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.
The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world.
It sounds simple, but each variable in the design of the event can affect the daters’ outcomes.
In spite of maxims about so many fish in the sea, for example, recent research tells us that the heart prefers a smaller pond.
After the event is over, the daters submit to the event’s organizers the names of the individuals they would like to see again.
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.
Online dating, too, has its drawbacks, requiring hours to sift through profiles and craft careful introductory e-mails before arranging to meet in person.
One speed-dating company in New York City, for example, holds a gathering almost every day.
Last year online coupon company Groupon hosted the world’s largest speed-dating event, with 414 attendees crammed into a restaurant in Chicago.
The authors found that when the available prospects varied more in attributes such as age, height, occupation and educational background, people made fewer dating proposals.