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There’s no reason couples like that should stand out—except for the fact that they are so rare. of dating, “but there's just no compelling evidence that those preferences [matter] once people actually meet face-to-face.” Experiments run by OKCupid, a dating site that matches singles by asking them which qualities they care about in a partner, the idea of “assortative mating”: the hypothesis that people generally date and marry partners who are like them in terms of social class, educational background, race, personality, and, of course, attractiveness.

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Working with two psychologists, Hunt looked at 167 couples who participated in a long-term study at Northwestern.

They asked each couple how long they’d known each other before they started dating, and they recruited people to watch videotapes of the couples and rate each individual’s physical attractiveness.

Do acquaintances overlook physical appearance because they know each other’s personality and unique attributes?

Is dating less of a “competitive market” when it’s among friends rather than at a bar or a house party?

At the start of the semester, they asked students in small classes to rate the desirability of their classmates.

Last modified 17-Dec-2015 01:14