American online search dating

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A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.

A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.

Bruch wondered: Is mate selection like a job interview process, where the person with the best combination of positive factors wins?

Or is it more like a -style reality show, where contestants are picked off one by one for a single failing?

For example, says Lin, "Tinder doesn't allow users to search, and emphasizes the photos much more than [personal] attributes, which might reduce the deal breaker effects." Then again, perhaps that simply shifts the deal breakers to a person's appearance instead.

is the longest running online dating site on the web launched in 1996.

But the biggest deal breaker of all turned out to be age, at least for women.

All other factors being equal, women overall were 400 times less likely to browse the profile of a man significantly older than herself. Whereas 20-year-old women were 10 times more likely to ignore a man 10 years her senior, 45-year-old women were nearly 10% more likely to browse the profile of a man 55 or older compared with a man her own age.

"That men care about height at all is, we suspect, a function of their realizing they may get rejected if they aren't quite a bit taller than their potential mates," she adds.

But when it came to body weight, men were less likely to browse the profile of a woman who was heavy-set, whereas women showed little aversion to—with some showing even more interest in—heavier-set men.

Then comes the choice to send a person a message, or to reply to one.

And of course, the final, crucial decision, which isn't captured by these data: whether to meet the person in the real world.

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