Quantcast

How humans cognitively manage an abundance of mate options

The Researchers: A. P. Lenton and M. Francesconi

Published In: Psychological Science, Vol. 21(4), pp.528-533, 2010

Prognosis

Fewer options, better mate choice.

Particulars

Ever feel like you’d find “the one” if only you had more options? Well, heed this: When there’s more fish in the sea, you choose a less compatible mate!

In this study, volunteers attended either small or large speed dating events, and reported whether or not they’d go on a date with each candidate they met.

At the small speed-dating events (15-23 partners), participants chose dates based on meaningful traits, like career and education, which are important for long-term compatibility. But those at the large speed-dating events (24-31 partners) were much more superficial. They chose dates based on trivial, quick-to-assess characteristics, like height and weight.

Why? When we have too many choices, our brains get overwhelmed, so we’re less able to make nuanced decisions, and our snap ‘hot-or-not’ judgments win out. To really find the one, cast your line in a smaller pool. 

Beauty connection

Of course physical attraction matters, but getting serious for looks alone is a recipe for disaster. If you long for a connection that goes more than skin deep, try meeting people at more intimate gatherings. Choosing a compatible partner is about finding someone with similar goals, values and interests—all traits that are harder to see when you’re blinded by too many options.

Comments on this Research Paper (0) | Leave a Comment

Loading…
Let's hang out Smart is sexy - get our newsletter:

Join us on pinterest
From Our Partners

Is Coconut Oil Just a Health Fad?

from Huffington Post

Spring Beauty Budget Buys

from Pretty Impressed

Celebrity Anti-Aging Secrets

from Pop Sugar
CONTACT US