Dating less attractive

Don’t even pretend you haven’t witnessed the same thing. Levkoff continues: There is no arguing that there are benefits that financial affluence can provide, but that is not the predominant reason for selecting a mate.We need someone who deeply cares about us and can communicate with us. The media and magazines constantly tell women we need to put serious effort into our appearances if we want to attract a potential mate.She was in town for the weekend from Boston, and I was treating her to shrimp stew, churros and the tales of my not-so-glamorous life in NYC.

A team led by Leonard Lee (2008) from Columbia University recently looked into the question of whether our own attractiveness biases affect our perceptions of those we date using the site.

“Hey, I’m pretty good looking, why did I choose someone obviously less so than myself? ” In order to reduce that internal and unconscious conflict and resolve the discrepancy, so goes the theory, they might persuade themselves that the person they chose is actually more physically appealing than initially thought. So the researcher set out to test this hypothesis using the HOTor website and its dating component.

(The researchers also ran a separate experiment to ensure that “hot” people on the website really were rated as being attractive by folks in the real-world, which they were, confirming the validity of the HOTor NOT data.) They examined two different sets of data — 2,386,267 rating decisions by 16,550 members looking for meeting requests (dating) and 447,082 rating decisions made by 5,467 members just randomly rating the attractiveness of others on the site (not looking for a date).

And since beauty seems to be a universal constant no matter what the culture (based upon factors such as facial features and waist to hip ratios), it’s hard to get away from the influence of attractiveness in dating and mating.

Some theories that have been put forward about why these biases exist include evolutionary (helps to maximize the attractive, more “fit” genes), market forces (attractive people want other attractive people, so they’re not left choosing from the less attractive), and parental influence (we look for mates who resemble our parents! The current study touches upon a psychological mumbo-jumbo theory called “cognitive dissonance.” When a person chooses someone they believe to be less attractive than themselves, they must try and reduce the internal conflict regarding this choice.

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