Feel Great

Speed dating selectivity, what side of the table are you on?

by Kimberly Caruba, blogger

(Courtesy of thefrisky.com)

A speed dating study conducted by Eli J. Finkel and Paul Eastwick of Northwestern University has revealed that women are not necessarily the pickier ones when choosing a mate. Whether women or men are more critical of their potential mates depends on what side of the table they are sitting on.

The typical speed dating scenario involves women sitting at a tables while men rotate around the room, being interviewed by the women. According to an article on highestfive.com, this set-up has proven to favor evolutionary psychology’s theory that women are more selective in mates because they consider reproductive benefits in potential mates. In this situation, men typically say that they are willing to go on a date with more of the women they were interviewed by then the number of willing women.

Finkel and Eastwick’s study found that if men were the ones conducting the interviews, and women rotated through the tables, men became the more critical ones and women were less selective.

Possible explanations for the switch in a critical eye include our society’s preference for thin, fit women. Men are better able to check out a women’s body as they walk from table to table then when they are seated as the interviewer.

Also, over time women’s mate selection process has consisted of waiting for a desirable mate to come to them— unless a particularly good mate is spotted, in which case they approach the male. Finkel and Eastwick’s study turned the tables and could have tricked the women’s brains into thinking the men they were approaching were especially good catches.

If you ever try speed dating, consider what side of the table you’re sitting on, and keep that in mind when choosing who to have a second date with.