What Does Music Taste Say About Character

MusicIDS - July 2 - The Unravel blog did a nice summary of a 2010 study by Dr. Adrian North,  who surveyed 36,518 people in more than 60 countries about their preference for 104 musical styles, as well as their personality.

Here’s a summary of what Dr. North found:

  • Rap/Hip-Hop: high self-esteem, outgoing, not very eco-friendly
  • Heavy Metal: gentle, low self-esteem, reserved, and comfortable with themselves
  • Indie Rock: low self-esteem, creative, lazy, headstrong
  • Electronic/Dance: sociable, headstrong, outgoing, creative
  • Classical: high self-esteem, introverted, high earners, eco-friendly
  • Pop: high self esteem, hard working, outgoing, low creativity, nervous

Seems like this could be usable on iDating sites for matchmaking.

Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

Using Language Patterns To Match People: Jonathan Mall Interview

Mindmatch logoOPW INTERVIEW - Aug 9 - believe that 'people will tell you everything if you only observe.'  So I was quite interested to learn of the work Jonathan Mall was doing in using language patterns to match people.  If you'd like to learn more I recommend the seminal work 'The Secret Life of Pronouns.' - Mark Brooks

What's your background and founding story of Mailmindmatch?
While doing my PhD in Psychology, I read the literature demonstrating that language synchronization patterns can be indicative of effective communication, mutual rapport and coordination. Various papers report that people who matched their language style were more likely to start a relationship or have a higher chance to prolong their existing relationship. I immediately wanted to calculate match scores for my own communication partners and found that most recorded conversations accumulated in my Facebook inbox. Previous work, by Pennebaker's group and others (e.g. Ireland et al., 2010; Taylor & Thomas, 2008) >conversation transcripts, thus a thorough investigation and optimization of the language style matching approach was lacking for online communication. Therefore, I build a Facebook app to analyze all my messages and visualize the language style match. The language style match scores obtained for my friends on Facebook largely coincided with my feelings towards them. Ex-girlfriends and even good male friends were on top and people I cared less about were at the bottom. I conducted a large study, asking 300 people to rate up to 20 of their Facebook friends and then calculated which language characteristics would predict how much people valued each other. Over 2.5 million individual messages were analyzed and the predictive power of the resulting algorithms was high. Thus, language style matching in online communication can reliably estimate how effective two people communicate and how much mutual rapport they are feeling.

Now that I've graduated I am looking for partners to apply these algorithms in an environment where a good fit between people is important and has commercial relevance.

How does Mailmindmatch help iDaters make better matches?
iDating has long been trying to create algorithms that match people before they ever made contact. It neglects a large part of the courting process, the actual conversation. Effective communication means listening and reacting "on the same wavelength", which is what mailmindmatch.com measures. While language style matching can also be used to propose prospective dates, based on the content of previous conversations, ongoing conversations offer the most relevant information to determine whether two people match. For example, when an iDater is chatting with 5 prospective dates, the algorithms can indicate which one appears to be the best match.

Where can we see it in action?
The Demo is available at www.mailmindmatch.com.

How can an iDating site work with you to integrate the test into their site?
The infrastructure to do the processing of messages is in place. Chat protocols with 300+ words exchanged are enough to calculate language style match scores. The next challenge will be to integrate the technology in the most beneficial manner. While matching based on language style can improve existing matching algorithms that find prospective dates, given the individual nature of interpersonal communication, the algorithms are particularly powerful to evaluate starting conversations.

What would the ideal implementation look like?
An overall match score could be displayed next to a conversation. iDaters can be getting advice on how to communicate more effectively, i.e. achieve higher rapport. At the back-end, language style match scores can be used to operationalize the actual fit of two people once they started chatting, allowing to optimize existing match algorithms without the need of iDaters rating each conversation.

How much would it cost the iDating site to use this test?
The exclusive license costs 80k/year. If IP rights are warranted, other cooperations can be negotiated. Please contact me if you like to know more.

Ireland, M. E., Slatcher, R. B., Eastwick, P. W., Scissors, L. E., Finkel, E. J., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2010). Language Style Matching Predicts Relationship Initiation and Stability. Psychological Science, 22(1), 39–44.)

Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

'Love In The Time Of Algorithms' Book Out 24th Jan

Love in the time of algorithms 3dIDS - Jan 20 - Dan Slater is a former Wall Street Journal who freelances for NY Times, Washington Post, Forbes and Mens Health. He's spent the last couple of years embedded in the Internet dating industry. His new book, Love In The Time Of Algorithms is out Jan 24th and is published by a Penguin imprint. He's put a face on the industry, and shone a light on some of the companies and challenges we face. It's essential reading. You can pre-buy on Amazon or email mfox@foxbookshop.com for orders of 25+ books. Dan just wrote an article for The Atlantic about how iDating is changing society.
Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

Top 45 Top Scientific Papers For The Online Dating Industry

Internet dating science logoIDS - Feb 21 - Here is a list of the most interesting scientific studies relevant to the Online dating industry for you to consider reading. Thanks to Fernando Ardenghi for recommending and researching this list. We will be summarizing some more of those studies.

  1. "Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science" 2012 Eli J. Finkel, Paul W. Eastwick, Benjamin R. Karney, Harry T. Reis and Susan Sprecher.
  2. "Partner Preferences of the Intellectually Gifted" 2012 Pieternel Dijkstra, D. P. H. Barelds et al.
  3. "Stability and change of personality across the life course: The impact of age and major life events on mean-level and rank-order stability of the Big Five." 2011 Jule Specht, Boris Egloff and Stefan C. Schmukle.
  4. "Relationship Compatibility, Compatible Matches, and Compatibility Matching" 2011 Susan Sprecher.
  5. "Generalization in mate choice copying in humans" 2012 Robert I. Bowers, Skyler S. Place, Peter M. Todd, Lars Penke, and Jens B. Asendorpf.
  6. "Personality, Partner Similarity and Couple Satisfaction: Do Opposites Attract or Birds of a Feather Flock Together?"  2011 Adrienne Kaufman
  7. "Changes in women's interpersonal styles across the menstrual cycle." 2011 Markey, P. M. and Markey, C. N.
  8. "The Role Of Linguistic Properties In Online Dating Communication – A Large-Scale Study Of Contact Initiation Messages" 2011 Valentin Schöndienst and Linh Dang-Xuan
  9. "Personality and meta-accuracy: A social relations model approach" 2011 Mitja Back
  10. "Knowing your own mate value: Sex-specific personality effects on the accuracy of expected mate choices" 2011 Back, M. D., Penke, L., Schmukle, S. C. and Asendorpf, J. B.
    - IDS review by Kathryn Lord
  11. "Online Friend Recommendation through Personality Matching and Collaborative Filtering" 2011 Li Bian and Henry Holtzman.
  12. "Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together? A Differential Approach to Similarity Effects in the Association Between Personality Traits and Life Satisfaction in Intimate Relationships" 2011 Katrin Furler and Veronica Gomez.
  13. "Personality similarity between self, partner and parents" 2011 D. P. H. Barelds and Pieternel Dijkstra.
  14. "An assessment of positive illusions of the physical attractiveness of romantic partners" 2011 D. P. H. Barelds, Pieternel Dijkstra, Namkje Koudenburg and Viren Swami.
  15. "Perceptions of Ideal and Former Partners' Personality and Similarity" 2010 Pieternel Dijkstra / D. P. H. Barelds.
    - IDS review by Dr Brenner
  16. "Personality similarity, perceptual accuracy, and relationship satisfaction in dating and married couples" 2011 Mieke Decuyper, Marleen De Bolle and Filip De Fruyt.
  17. "Goal Complementarity in Intimate Relationships: Is Couples' Perception of Acting in Concert Positively Related to Subjective Well-Being?" 2011 Karin Stadler and Veronica Gomez.
  18. "It's that time of the month: The effects of hormonal shifts on female mate value, depressive symptomology, and short term mating orientation." 2011 Heather Adams and Victor Luévano.
  19. "The Relations Between Actual and Perceived Similarity in Personality" 2011 Jessica Wortan and Dustin Wood.
  20. "Similarity predicts relationship satisfaction in Brazil" 2011 Erina Lee, Gian Gonzaga.
  21. "Assortative mating, convergence, and satisfaction in married couples" 2010 Gian Gonzaga, Steve Carter and J. Galen BuckWalter.
  22. "Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality in nationally representative samples from three countries: the relative importance of actor, partner, and similarity effects." 2010 Portia Dyrenforth et al.
  23. "Why Mate Choices are not as Reciprocal as we Assume: The Role of Personality, Flirting and Physical Attractiveness" 2010 Lars Penke, et al.
  24. "What lies beneath: The linguistic traces of deception in online dating profiles. Journal of Communication." 2010 Toma, C. and Hancock, J.T.
  25. "Genetic and environmental influences on personality trait stability and growth during the transition to adulthood: A three wave longitudinal study." 2010 Hopwood, C.J., Donnellan, M.B., Blonigen, D.M., Krueger, R.F., McGue, M., Iacono, W.G., and Burt, S.A.
  26. "Is spousal similarity for personality a matter of convergence or selection?" 2010 Mikhila N. Humbad, M. Brent Donnellan, William G. Iacono et al.
  27. "From Dating to Mating and Relating: Predictors of Initial and Long-Term Outcomes of Speed-Dating in a Community Sample" 2010 Lars Penke, et al.
    - IDS review by Dr Brenner
  28. "The attraction–similarity model and dating couples: Projection, perceived similarity, and psychological benefits" 2010 Marian M. Morry, Mie Kito and Lindsey Ortiz.
    - IDS review by Dr Brenner
  29. "Personality influences on marital satisfaction: Integrating the empirical evidence using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) model" 2009 Charania and Ickes.
  30. "Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?" 2009 Alvergne and Lummaa.
  31. "Human oestrus" 2008 Gangestad and Thornhill
  32. "Only the congruent survive - Personality similarities in couples. Personality and Individual Differences" 2008 Rammstedt and Schupp.
  33. "Personality trait change in adulthood." 2008 Roberts, B. W. and Mroczek, D.
  34. "Do People Know What They Want: A Similar or Complementary Partner?" 2008 D. P. H. Barelds and Pieternel Dijkstra.
  35. "Personality Trait Similarity Between Spouses in Four Cultures" 2008 McCrae, Martin, Hrebícková, Urbánek, Boomsma et al.
  36. "Love at first sight or friends first? Ties among partner personality trait similarity, relationship onset, relationship quality, and love" 2007 D. P. H. Barelds and Pieternel Dijkstra.
  37. "Preferences for symmetry in faces change across the menstrual cycle." 2007 Little, A. C., Jones, B. C., Burt, D. M. and Perrett, D. I.
  38. "Assortative mating for perceived facial personality traits. Personality and Individual" 2006 Little, AC, Burt, DM and Perrett, DI. 
  39. "The ideal romantic partner personality" 2006 Figueredo, Sefcek and Jones.
  40. "Social Structure and Personality Assortment Among Married Couples" 2006 Bekkers, van Aken and Denissen.
  41. "A New Method for Dimensionality Reduction using K-Means Clustering Algorithm for High Dimensional Data Set" International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 – 8887) Volume 13– No.7, January 2011
  42. "Addressing the new user problem with a personality based user similarity measure" 2010 Marko Tkalcic, Matevz Kunaver, Andrej Kosir, Jurij Tasic
  43. "Towards to Psychological-based Recommenders Systems: A survey on Recommender Systems" 2010 Maria Augusta Nunes
  44. "Design and User Issues in Personality-based Recommender Systems" 2010 Rong Hu
  45. "How Shared Preferences in Music Create Bonds Between People: Values as the Missing Link" 2011 Diana Boer, Ronald Fischer, Micha Strack, Michael H. Bond, Eva Lo, and Jason Lam
Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

''Out Of My League'': A Real-World Test Of The Matching Hypothesis

We take the best academic papers and summarize them in plain English so you can improve your idating site, and help your users make better connections.

Title: ''Out of My League'': A Real-World Test of the Matching Hypothesis
Published In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Authors: Lindsay Shaw Taylor, Andrew T. Fiore, G.A. Mendelsohn and Coye Cheshire, University of California, Berkeley
Contact: lstaylor@berkeley.edu
Full Report: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/37/7/942
Pages: 14 

Summary, In Plain English:

Summarized by Bradley R. Brenner, Ph.D., Psychologist and Relationship Therapist

Are people predictable and tend to really pick to date “in their league”? 

Using a mixture of laboratory study, surveys of online daters, and extensive activity logs of a large national online dating site the authors of the current study attempted to shine light on whether or not people really do choose to date people they perceive to have similar levels of socially desirable traits.

In the lab setting where dating decisions are hypothetical it’s difficult to find clear evidence of the matching hypothesis.

In study 1, the authors gathered data of 187 participants. They were presented with fictitious online profiles constructed to reflect people with low, medium, and high socially desirable traits. The authors wanted to see if the participants would say that they would choose to communicate with people with the same level of social desirability as their own.

They found that people:

  • choose the highly desirable profiles most often (out of their league behavior), but
  • that one’s level of self-worth influenced the process to a degree (in their league behavior).

Is attractiveness a good indicator of social desirability and help to support the existence of the matching hypothesis? Short answer: No.

In study 2, the authors next examined the online behavior of 120 heterosexual dating site members. They analyzed the attractiveness level of the photos of 966 people who they had contacted.

They found that people

  • tended to contact other members who were of higher attractiveness then themselves (out of their league behavior).

On dating sites women communicate within their league. Men randomly communicate with all types of women.

Combining the core elements of study 1 and 2 the authors we interested to know if self-worth would be related to the communication patterns on a dating site. They gathered self-worth data on 3,074 heterosexual study participants and examine the site’s activity logs for the type of people they contacted.

They found that women:

  • with higher self-worth tended to communicate with more popular men on the site, where popularity was defined as men who received high levels of inbound communication (in their league behavior).
  • with low self-worth tended to communicate with less popular men (in their league behavior).

They found that men:

  • communicated with popular and unpopular women irrespective of their own sense of self-worth (out of their league behavior).

Real world communication patterns on dating sites appears to be partially based on being in the same league.

In study 4, utilizing estimates of a person’s popularity on a dating site the authors examined activity logs of more than one million members for indications of whether people communication within their own league

They found that people:

  • choose to initiate communication with people with similar levels of popularly (in their league behavior)
  • receive communication from people with a similar level of popularity as their own (in their league behavior).

Dr Brenner: Based on this information, you should:

  1. Educate your members that constructing a maximally attractive and welcoming profile will increase the likelihood of receiving communication.
  2. Tutor your members that it will also increase the likelihood of communication from relatively popular members and people with higher self-worth.
  3. Appreciate that men and women tend to initiate communication based on different criteria.
  4. Be mindful that people’s statements about intended dating behaviors are often at odds with their actual behaviors.
  5. Recognize that surveys of member’s desires, intentions, and opinions is insufficient to understand how they fully interact with your site and its other members.
  6. Examining activity logs of your members is a key element of understanding how they utilize your site, its features, and interact with members.

Ids button dr brenner

Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

Internet Dating Science Is For...

Internet dating science logoIDS - Jan 15 - Internet Dating Science is for product innovators and academics to learn from research papers most pertinent to the online dating industry. 

In 2004 when I was working at FriendFinder, friends would forward me news but I'd rarely find time to review the news. I thought it would be nice if someone could summarize it.  There was no such service, so I started OPW. There's nuggets of wisdom and things worth knowing in most news.  But it takes some digging. We've been digging since June 2004.  We've started a few focus blogs since then. Including InternetDatingJobs.com, InternetDatingInvestments.com and InternetDatingAffiliates.com

Please keep us posted on what papers you think we should be reviewing at tips@onlinepersonalswatch.com. We're looking for more volunteers to assist with this effort, btw. So if you have some time to review papers, and specific knowledge and interest in the dating industry, it would be great to have you on the IDS team.

Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

Frequent Flirters Renamed To Internet Dating Affiliates

Internet dating affiliates logoIDS - Jan 11 - We've changed the name of our affiliate blog from FrequentFlirters.com to InternetDatingAffiliates.com. You can find our affiliate payouts spreadsheets there. These are handy references to all the payouts for internet dating affiliates programs, both direct programs, and via affiliate networks. Also, we have a spreadsheet which just lists who is paying out the most for each program, whether its direct or via a network. We also run occasional news for internet dating affiliates there. Please email tips@onlinepersonalswatch.com when you have affiliate news for internet dating affiliates you'd like to have considered for the Internet Dating Affiliates blog. Thanks. - Mark Brooks

Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

From Dating To Mating And Relating:
Predictors Of Initial And Long-term Out Comes Of Speed-Dating In A Community Sample

We take the best academic papers and summarize them in plain English so you can improve your idating site, and help your users make better connections.

European journal of personality
Title: From Dating To Mating And Relating: Predictors Of Initial And Long-term Out Comes Of Speed-Dating In A Community Sample
Published In: European Journal of Personality
Authors: Jens B. Asendorph, Humboldt University Berlin; Lars Penke, University of Edinburgh; and Mitja D. Back, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Contact: lars.penke@ed.ac.uk
Full Report: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/per.768/pdf
Pages: 15

Summary, In Plain English:

Summarized by Bradley R. Brenner, Ph.D., Psychologist and Relationship Therapist

Speed dating events present a rich scientific opportunity to observe dating behavior outside of a psychology lab. Though the interactions among potential daters tend to be short in length – 3 minutes in the current study – researchers are able to directly observe and to survey reactions in the moment. Researchers usually rely on self-reports of what they would do in a hypothetical situation. Added to this power of real world observation, the authors of the current study examined what occurred over the course of a year for the speed daters who made a connection at an event.

The authors focused on 3 questions.

  1. What makes someone popular at a speed-dating event?
  2. What makes someone choosey at speed-dating event?
  3. Of the connections made at a speed-dating event, what factors influence the likelihood of a match, and what factors lead to shorter-term casual sexual relationships or longer-term romantic relationships.

The Daters (Study Participants)
190 men and 192 women (age 18-54) were part of multiple speed-dating events hosted by a German university.

For both men and women facial attractiveness was the strongest predictor of what made them popular. Other physical characteristics were also significantly related to popularity including vocal attractiveness and low body mass.

Some gender differences were noted. In addition to the above physical characteristics, men who are taller, had higher incomes, more years of education, were less shy, and believe that sex is ok outside of committed relationship were more popular. In particular, the men's attitudes about sex were the second largest predictor of popularity, behind facial attractiveness.

As was expected, most characteristics that make someone popular also made them choosier, with facial attractiveness being the strongest predictor of choosiness.

Younger women and older men were more choosy, and older women and younger men were less choosy.

The increased likelihood of a match was predicted by one factor: similar level of facial attractiveness for both people.

The authors followed those who matched over the course of 12 months and found that what one partners desires out of a relationship influences their dating partners behaviors. When men preferred a short-term casual relationship, that was related to women engaging in a casual short-term sexual relationship. It is interesting to note that if a man sought a longer-term relationship it was unrelated a woman’s behavior towards the relationship.

Conversely, when women preferred a longer-term relationship that was related to men engaging in a longer-term romantic relationship, but not engaging in casual sexual behavior. If a woman sought a casual sexual relationship it had no bearing on a man’s behavior in the relationship.

Overall, physical characteristics and age make significant contributions to initial popularity and the ability to be choosey. In the more long term, dating intentions influence the outcomes of the relationships that are formed.

Dr Brenner: Based on this information, you should:

  1. Keep emphasizing to your members that a clear and accurate picture of their face is critical to online and in-person connections.
  2. Be direct with your members that their dating intentions (short-term vs. long-term) have significant impact on the course of a relationship.
  3. Educate your members that once set in motion, relationships started under one type of dating intention (e.g., short-term) do not often change to the other (e.g., long-term).
  4. To minimize frustration with your service, assist members to understand that younger women and older men will be choosier and less apt to be responsive in general.

Ids button dr brenner

Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team

Knowing Your Own Mate Value:
Sex-specific Personality Effects on the Accuracy of Expected Mate Choices

We take the best academic papers and summarize them in plain English so you can improve your idating site, and help your users make better connections.

Association for psychological science
Title: Knowing your own mate value: Sex-specific personality effects on the accuracy of expected mate choices
Published In:  Psychological Science, in press
Authors: Mitja D. Back, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Lars Penke, University of Edinburgh; Stefan C. Schmukle, Westfällische Wilhelm-University Münster; and Jens B. Asendorph, Humboldt University Berlin
Contact: lars.penke@ed.ac.uk
Full Report: http://www.larspenke.eu/pdfs/Back_Penke_Schmuckle_Asendorpf_2011_-_Mate_value_accuracy.pdf

Summary, In Plain English:

Summarized by Kathryn Lord, Romance Coach

Singles who understand their value on the mate market find the most matches. The researchers used speed dating events to test how well men and women understood their own value. Men and women typically show traits specific to their gender that make them more marketable. The researchers theorized that singles estimate their value better if they show high levels of the trait that the other gender values.

Men who flirt more, are more active in soliciting women’s attention, and are more confident in their effect would be high in sociosexuality. Sociosexuality is defined as “an intrinsic tendency to desire uncommitted sexuality.” Agreeable women who are more approachable and less likely to reject advances are more appealing. Agreeableness in women is “a tendency to behave in a warm, trustworthy, and cooperative manner.” Men and women who naturally display these valued behaviors should have find mate finding easier and more successful. Those not showing those traits would find the process more stressful and less successful. Even trying to behave more aggressively or agreeably does not work well. It is tiring and unnatural.

Using speed dating events, singles were tested before for sociosexuality and agreeableness. After each speed dating introduction, participants indicated if they wanted to see this person again, and whether they thought that the other would want to see them. The actual numbers of requests for meetings were compared to what each single expected to determine their accuracy.

As suspected, singles who exhibited high levels of behaviors expected (sociosexuality in men, agreeableness in women) were better able to estimate their own value in the speed dating event. “Sociosexually unrestricted men were more accurate than restricted me and agreeable women were more accurate than disagreeable women.”

“Knowing one’s own value” in the mate-finding market is extremely important to eventual success. This study has limited value, however, since it only looks at sociosexuality and agreeableness. “Value” has many factors: attractiveness/looks, for instance. Age, health, finances, education, and many other factors figure in.

Men and women often overvalue what they have to offer. On Internet dating sites, contacting the top candidates and getting no responses is highly frustrating and encourages dropping out of the market entirely.

Being realistic about who might be more likely to accept what an individual has to offer makes success more likely. As well, both men and women can improve their value. Before posting on a dating site, they can “get ready to date.”  Posting a quality profile and photo is essential to good results. Then, evaluating their successes and failures and making appropriate adjustments should continue to improve the responses singles get.

Kathryn Lord: Based on this information, you should:

  1. Educate your customers on how to figure out their value on your dating site. Inform them that while all profiles are real people (if indeed they are – they should be), only a small percentage will be interested in them in particular. Most of us are only attracted to a tiny portion of the total number of singles available. I use this illustration with my clients:

  2. Inform users on how likely their first emails are to be answered. Encourage both men and women to take active roles in contacting others. If they are not having the results they hope for, suggest ways to improve by widening their search parameters until they get a good response rate.
  3. Help your users improve their value. Educate them about the importance of preparing to date: getting their bodies in the best shape possible, sprucing up grooming, getting their home and finances in good order, for instance. Provide guidance on their on-site presentations, how to write an appealing profile, the best photos, etc.
  4. Stress the importance of honesty and congruence. Their presentation online should accurately match reality. Trying to present themselves as something they are not will ultimately backfire.
Summarized by Courtland Brooks Team