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Then they set the students loose in a speed-dating session to see if they could predict who would like who.
As it turns out, the researchers could predict nothing.
And all of that begins with a quick and dirty assessment of rapport and chemistry that occurs when people first meet face to face." To be sure, Finkel acknowledges downsides to having so many date options.
In the 2012 review, Finkel and his colleagues used the term "choice overload" to describe what happens when people wind up making worse romantic choices when they've got more of a selection.
"For people who want to whine and moan about how online dating isn't working," says psychologist Eli Finkel, "go back in time to 1975.
Ask somebody, 'What does it feel like to not have any realistic possibility of meeting somebody that you could potentially go on a date with? Finkel is a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management; he's also the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage." Finkel and his colleagues have been studying online dating for years.
In 2012, Finkel co-authored a lengthy review, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, of several dating sites and apps, and outlined several limitations to online dating.
Singles can connect online and test their web-based love connections in person.
In some cases, it's only a few minutes after virtually chatting, thanks to location-based features.
Singles typically don't adopt an either/or approach to dating — either casual sex or a serious relationship.
Most of them want to have fun, meet interesting people, feel sexual attraction and, at some point, settle into a serious relationship.