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The Economics of Speed Dating

27 November 2007

The Economics of Speed Dating

Economics is often known as the “dismal science”, but understanding the numbers is the key to finding a mate, or just a good time, according to researchers at the University of Chicago.

According to a two-year study conducted by researchers, participants are apt to make judgments based on stereotypes or past experiences. It seems the cliché that men value looks and women value brains, money, and success does hold true.

Numbers Speed Dating organizer Cathy Allan, agrees stereotypes do factor into the equation, but the best formula is knowing what you are looking for in a partner.

“Our events are microcosms of society, whereby participants have a limited amount of time in which to make decisions about the desirability of their partner, so they rely on tried and true formulas to help them with their decision.”

“In order to register for an event we ask people to complete a brief questionnaire, for two reasons. Firstly, it helps us select an optimum mix of people on the night, and secondly, it gets them thinking about the characteristics that are desirable to them in a partner.”

Before the event is under way participants are given a blank piece of paper where they write down the names of their dates. After 5 minutes chatting to each of their dates participants then have to put either a yes or no next to each name. “If you have put a ‘yes’ to someone who has also put a ‘yes’ to you, the next day you will receive an email giving you the names and contact details of the people you matched with.

The nights cost $30 per person, which includes a free glass of champagne and 20% of profits also go to charity.

Information on Numbers Speed Dating events is available at

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