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Lin hopes that other dating sites will release similar data, because website design could play a bit part in how people make decisions.
For example, says Lin, "Tinder doesn't allow users to search, and emphasizes the photos much more than [personal] attributes, which might reduce the deal breaker effects." Then again, perhaps that simply shifts the deal breakers to a person's appearance instead.
The data set includes some 1.1 million interactions between users.
But beyond someone's looks, how much do any of these factors matter for mate selection?
Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City.
These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating.
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