What people said and did in choosing romantic partners were two different matters."True to the stereotypes, the initial self-reports of male participants indicated that they cared more than women about a romantic partner's physical attractiveness, and the women in the study stated more than men that earning power was an aphrodisiac," said Paul Eastwick, lead author of the study and graduate student in psychology in the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.In short, the data suggest that whether you're a man or a woman, being attractive is just as good for your romantic prospects and, to a lesser extent, so is being a good earner.
Speed dating is not just popular among those looking for romance.
Psychologists have worked out that they can get swarms of student participants in mate-choice studies by offering speed-dating opportunities on university campuses in return for the right to analyse the dating behaviour during the events. Normally in speed dating, men walk around a room and visit a succession of seated women for mini dates just a few minutes long.
“People will readily tell you what they value in a romantic partner,” said Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern and co-author of the study.
“But study after study shows that those preferences don’t predict whom daters are actually attracted to when they meet flesh-and-blood partners.
However, a new methodology that measures people’s implicit, split-second responses gets around this problem.