Online dating time magazine
In general, the things we find attractive on paper, or in an online profile, are very different to the things we find attractive in person.
Two years ago, a group of American psychologists led by Eli Finkel, a social psychologist at Northwestern University, articulated this in the journal .
Paul Eastwick, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, has found that while men and women often appear certain when asked about the kind of person they’d like to date — men (more than women) say they value physical attractiveness; women (more than men) say they value earning potential — these preferences have no bearing on how people decide in face-to-face encounters, when using their instinct.
Online, however, we rarely get the chance to use these intuitive social smarts.
Most dating sites try to do precisely the opposite: engage the rational, analytical side of our brain.
If you are introduced to someone at a party, you know pretty quickly whether you’re interested in them, or whether you have enough in common to want to see them again.
Such choices are largely intuitive: our social radar, honed over hundreds of thousands of years of group living, is finely tuned, and operates almost entirely beneath our conscious awareness.