What do people at speed-dating events look for in a mate?

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One recent study, for example, employed a diverse sample of 10,256 real-world speed daters.  Interestingly, it revealed that speed-dating partners’ preferences are driven more by generally agreed upon mate values (e.g., physical attractiveness, intelligence, exciting personality) than by idiosyncratic, say, similarity-based characteristics.  In addition, they are motivated more by observable characteristics such as attractiveness, age, and height than by less observable characteristics such as education, religion, or the desire to have children.  The size and diversity of the study’s sample make these findings particularly compelling.

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Reading this now and really enjoying it: A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire.

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