VOX - July 11 - In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper wrote a paper on the paradox of choice - the concept that having too many options can lead to decision paralysis. Seventeen years later, two Stanford classmates, Sophia Sterling-Angus and Liam McGregor, landed on a similar concept while taking an economics class on market design. "Tinder's huge innovation was that they eliminated rejection, but they introduced massive search costs," McGregor explained. "People increase their bar because there's this artificial belief of endless options." Sterling-Angus and McGregor had an idea: What if, rather than presenting people with a limitless array of attractive photos, they radically shrank the dating pool? What if they gave people one match based on core values (based on complex compatibility questions), rather than attraction? Their study called "Marriage Pact" focused on matching people with their perfect "backup plan" - the person they could marry later on if they didn't meet anyone else. It quickly became a viral phenomenon on campus. They've run the experiment two years in a row, and last year, 7,600 students participated: 4,600 at Stanford and 3,000 at Oxford. Next year the study will be in its third year, and McGregor and Sterling-Angus tentatively plan to launch it at a few more schools including Dartmouth, Princeton, and the University of Southern California. But it's unclear if the project can scale beyond the bubble of elite college campuses.