Participants can ask out up to ten people, attaching a virtual rose for their 2 “favorites”, and can only accept ten dates at most.At the conclusion of the experiment, the researchers reported that “The average number of [date request messages] sent was independent of the level of one’s own attractiveness.” To put that in normal-speak: ugly people tried for just as many dates as hot people.Last time, I mentioned a recent Wall Street Journal article  about the faulty premises plaguing online dating.In the article, Lehrer zooms over a hodgepodge of recent research punch lines, making the point that “love matching algorithms,” the bread-and-butter of some popular online dating sites, teeter on a foundation of wafer-thin alchemy rather than science.
For today, I’ll leave you with one intriguing thought.
I’m borrowing this enjoyable catchphrase from Malcolm Gladwell, who also wrote about the jam experiment in his best-seller panel of jam experts, and set out to see how college students, conspicuously lacking in jam-expertise, would rank them.
(Let’s just pause and reflect on a world in which one can rise to the level of jam expert…) The students clumsily swapped the 11th and 1st jams, and the 32nd and 44th jams, but overall, their preferences corresponded with the experts’ at r=.55. Wilson and Schooler then asked a second student group to rank the jams, but required them to produce written explanations enumerating their reasons for each preference, assisted by, of course, a jam-trait questionnaire.
I mentioned last time that I’m working on a book about love and relationships in China.
It’s been quite the adventure, and along the way, I’ve been struck by a big difference between our cultures.