FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM -- Nov 24 -- Psychologist Robert Kurzban of the University of Pennsylvania says his goal was to distinguish between two possible models of mating behavior. One, called the "matching hypothesis," suggests people seek partners like themselves. The other possibility is the "market model." Everyone agrees on who's most attractive, but in the end we're forced to settle for the best we can get. To determine which scenario most closely resembles the real world, Kurzban turned to Hurrydate, a speed-dating provider. He and colleague Jason Weeden got 2,650 participants to fill out surveys revealing weight, height, age, number of children, previous marriages, and attitudes toward premarital sex. It also asked participants to rate their own faces, bodies and personalities on scales from 1 to 7. The psychologists observed which participants were chosen most often and by whom. In the end the market model won. The same people were consistently deemed desirable. Florida Atlantic University psychologist Todd Shackelford puts it bluntly: People who are 1s and 2s (on a scale from 1 to 10) don't want other 1s and 2s. If you're a 6, say, your partner would rather have a 10 but has to settle for you. FULL ARTICLE @ PSYCHOLOGY IN THE NEWS
Mark Brooks: With speed dating and in person meetings the 'market model' will win. The relationship based dating sites (eHarmony, TRUE, PerfectMatch) give the 'matching hypothesis' a chance...but the market model will always win through in the end. Darwin would agree. However, glossy magazines and the likes of Baywatch have seriously skewed our perceptions of beauty and our expectation levels. I think this has contributed somewhat to the lower marriage rates and higher divorce rates. Our expectations (especially guys) are a little out of synch with what mother nature intended. What do you think the online dating industry can do to help?