, Dan Slater argues that online dating threatens commitment.
The ease of finding new romantic partners on sites like Ok Cupid and Match.com, he believes, makes it difficult to settle on just one person.
Slater writes, “What if the prospect of finding an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability?
Edward Royzman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asks me to list four qualities on a piece of paper: physical attractiveness, income, kindness, and fidelity.
Then he gives me 200 virtual “date points” that I’m to distribute among the four traits.
The more I allocate to each attribute, the more highly I supposedly value that quality in a mate.
This experiment, which Royzman sometimes runs with his college classes, is meant to inject scarcity into hypothetical dating decisions in order to force people to prioritize.
This trait game, along with Royzman’s review of the literature on attraction, hints at some of the endless quirks of the online dating marketplace.
You might like someone online, but they put 100 on income, and unfortunately you’re about a 10.Men and women make mating decisions very differently, he speculates.I think for a second, and then I write equal amounts (70) next to both hotness and kindness, then 40 next to income and 20 next to fidelity.“Oh wow,” he says.“What? Usually women allocate more to fidelity and less to physical attractiveness.Maybe you think fidelity is something people can cultivate over time?” (Sure, but I mean, who would want an ugly, broke jerk sticking faithfully by their side?)Royzman said that among his students (not in a clinical condition), men tend to spend much more on physical attractiveness, and women spend more on social attractiveness traits like kindness and intelligence.