Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.
Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables (it is Dutch).
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.
In a study in 2011 in the journal , University of Edinburgh psychologist Alison P.
Lenton and University of Essex economist Marco Francesconi analyzed more than 3,700 dating decisions across 84 speed-dating events.
When the buzzer sounds, half of the singles move to another chair and a different partner, in a kind of round robin.
After the event is over, the daters submit to the event’s organizers the names of the individuals they would like to see again.
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.