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Looking for Love Doesn't Take Long

Men and Women Can Assess Potential Mates in 3 Minutes or Less

New Clues on the Dating Game

Researchers say the speed dating survey offered a unique opportunity to study how people actually behave when selecting a mate vs. how they say they would act in such situations.

"The actual behavior of people is worth more to us than their stated beliefs," says Kurzban. "In this case, because participants might suffer the consequences of a bad date with someone who might look compatible on paper, they had more incentive to follow their hearts and desires."

They say the results showed that both men and women are aware that they are in a market and know how to respond to market forces. For example, men and women who rated themselves low on desirability said "yes" to a higher proportion of potential dates.

Researchers say these results apply only to assessments men and women make in situations in which they are meeting potential mates for the first time and may not apply to repeated interactions.

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