(July 4, 2011) According to a study conducted in the UK, the process of speed dating is ineffective because of the sheer number of unnatural choices of people you must meet with. The research was carried out by Marco Francesconi (Professor of Economics – University of Essex) and Alison Lenton (lecturer for Department of Psychology – University of Edinburgh). According to the study, too many unnatural choices affect our ability to process and make decisions.
The study analyzed 84 speed dating events. It found that as speed dating events got larger, the number of matches got smaller. The study, published in the March issue of Biology Letters, stated that too much variety is confusing in selecting someone to date. Instead of trying to process all the information against a preconceived list of desirable attributes, people often just decided not to select anyone at all to date from the event, resulting in it being ineffective.
The study states:
“In contexts in which time is a limited resource, choice variety—rather than facilitating choice quality or increasing choosiness—is confusing and potentially detrimental to choice quality.”