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It sounds simple, but each variable in the design of the event can affect the daters’ outcomes.

In spite of maxims about so many fish in the sea, for example, recent research tells us that the heart prefers a smaller pond.

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Very generally speaking, good looks and youthful vigor are indeed useful metrics for mating because they signal health.Yet if lifelong love is what you are after, a smorgasbord of singles might propel you to make stereotypical selections.Prior research by Lenton and Francesconi provides some insight into why people might struggle with speed dating.They found that when the number of participants in a speed-dating event increases, people lean more heavily on innate guidelines, known as heuristics, in their decision making.A study in 2008 by Lenton and Barbara Fasolo of the London School of Economics and Political Science indicates that participants often misjudge how the number of options available to them will affect their feelings.

Participants presented with a broad array of potential partners more closely aligned with their anticipated ideal did not experience greater emotional satisfaction than when presented with fewer options.

Decisions, Decisions Traditional dating can seem haphazard, contingent on seemingly minor details such as whether you signed up for the right yoga class or patronized the same bar as your future love interest.

Online dating, too, has its drawbacks, requiring hours to sift through profiles and craft careful introductory e-mails before arranging to meet in person.

AS A PSYCHOLOGIST, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating.

During a series of mini dates, each spanning no more than a couple of minutes, participants in a speed-dating event evaluate a succession of eligible singles.

As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.