Jupiter research online dating
ONLINE dating is one of the most popular paid services on the Internet.A 2003 report by com Score Networks stated that 40 million Americans had visited an online dating site, and Jupiter Research reported early this year that industry revenue will reach $516 million in 2005. Hitsch, Ali Hortasu (both from the University of Chicago) and Dan Ariely (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - examined the experiences of a sample of users of a major online dating service and subjected it to empirical scrutiny.
The researchers asked University of Chicago undergraduates to rate the users' physical attractiveness based on the photos, adding another variable to the mix.The online service provided the researchers with information about which sites a user browsed, whether the user sent e-mail to other users or replied to them and whether the user exchanged phone numbers.What happened after that particular milestone was not recorded. There was a strong Lake Wobegon effect in the data, with only 1 percent of the population admitting to having "less than average" looks. The reported weights of the women were substantially less than national averages and about 30 percent were blonde.The reported weights of the men were consistent with national averages and only about 12 percent were blond. The most important variable, for both men and women, is looks.Furthermore, posting a photo is a big help: women who post photos receive about twice as many e-mail messages as those who do not, even when they report that they have "average looks." Having a lot of money is good for attracting e-mail messages, at least for men.A woman, by contrast, gets 17 percent more e-mail messages by reporting this goal.
I would guess that none of these findings are terribly surprising. But even if preferences are all too predictable, there is still the question of who matches with whom.
Consider the case of the 90-year-old bachelor who was asked why he was still single.
Those men reporting incomes in excess of $250,000 received 156 percent more e-mail messages than those with incomes below $50,000.
Women like men with a higher income than they have but men do not want to date women who earn more than they do.
The stated goals for using the service make a big difference in how many e-mail messages are received.
Men who are "hoping to start a long-term relationship" receive substantially more e-mail than those who are "just looking/curious." The worst thing a man can say is that he is "seeking a casual relationship," receiving 42 percent fewer e-mail messages than he would otherwise.