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These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating."The science is absolutely solid." He suspects that deal breakers are more important at the early stage of mate selection when people are winnowing down a pool of candidates.Not according to a study of more than 1 million interactions on a dating website published this week in the .
Are you carefully weighing every factor that makes someone a good romantic match?
A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.
Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City.
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.
Bruch's team devised a statistical model that maps the "decision rules" people follow during the first two steps.