Entries in okcupid (5)

Friday
Oct312014

The Truth Behind Online Dating: What Motivates Users and Companies

Read Part 1 of this series here: The Truth Behind Online Dating: What Is and Isn’t Real

People are shallow. Psychological science has demonstrated that people often use a “what is beautiful is good” mental shortcut.1 People tend to assume positive characteristics about others based on physical attractiveness, even though these perceptions are not accurate. This bias for beauty has been shown in all types of contexts that are not limited to online dating. A classic study from the 60s on in-person dating found that a date’s hot body/face predicted romantic attraction more than personality traits, intelligence, popularity/charisma, mental health, and self-esteem.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug182014

The Ethics of OKCupid’s Dating Experiment

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room. You probably have noticed some widespread media coverage about OKCupid’s “experiment” wherein, to look for patterns in dating behavior, they manipulated aspects of the site without informing users (see OKCupid’s announcement here as well as coverage here and here). This revelation comes in the wake of Facebook’s massive experiment, which attracted similar attention and criticism. Commenters have questioned the ethics of these experiments primarily due to the fact that Facebook and OKCupid users did not know they were participating and did not consent to be in the study—nor were users directly notified about their participation after the experiment ended.

The idea that these large corporations would manipulate people’s emotions or behaviors without telling their users sounds very disturbing to some. But was this really such a big deal? Were these experiments really “unethical”? Let’s examine these issues further.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov272012

Are Men’s Standards Really So Low That They’re Willing To Date “Sociopaths”?

I recently read an article entitled "OkCupid Experiment Proves Men Don’t Mind Dating Sociopaths." Naturally, I was intrigued. The article goes on to report the results of an “experiment” in which a couple of friends created a fake OkCupid profile featuring an image of an attractive woman (“Tara_IceAge4”) whose profile appeared, well, a little on the crazy side. Read the full article if you want all of the gory details, but the basic idea is that she’s racist, insensitive (e.g., she makes jokes about 9/11), erratic, a hit-and-run driver, and, above all else, a really poor speller. This fake profile was viewed 400 times and received 39 replies from potential male suitors within a few hours. So does this little study “prove” that men are perfectly comfortable dating sociopaths? And, in the words of the article’s author, is this really “an experiment that every human being should examine?” No and no. Let me explain.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr222011

Is Twitter Bad for Relationships?

If you’re one of our many frequent visitors you know that we recently wrote about the validity of the data presented on OKCupid’s blog. I’m not going to rehash the points raised there, but did want to note a few additional things related to the recent OKTrends post “10 Charts about Sex.”

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr112011

OKTrends - Are Their Data Valid?

OKCupid is a popular online dating site, and the creators also run a blog called OKTrends in which they describe patterns of their consumers' behavior with a whole lot of number crunching. The findings they publish are interesting and thought provoking (for example, when women make flirtatious eye-contact in profile pictures, that gets more attention than a smiling picture, on “The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures”). The question is, how accurate are these types of findings in light of scientific research on attraction and dating, and how consistent are they with behavior in the general population?

Click to read more ...