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While most dates consist of a few hours at a nice restaurant and then a movie, a new study suggests speed dating may be the way to go.
By analyzing recorded speed dating sessions, researchers from Stanford University have determined four minutes is enough time to forge a meaningful relationship.
Published in the American Journal of Sociology, the study consisted of nearly 1,000 heterosexual couples – mostly Stanford graduate students.
Researchers Dan McFarland and Dan Jurafsky used computer software to analyze and compare the couples while on several four-minute dates. Each participant also filled out a survey before and after the dates.
McFarland said he wanted to get a better understanding of why some couples experience an immediate connection while others do not.
“We wanted to get at what the essence of the connection is, what makes people feel like they bonded,” he said.
“Participants rated a higher level of connection
when the discussion focused on the woman.”
The results show how words are spoken, when and for how long determines if a couple will “click.”
Women reported more of a connection to dates who were sympathetic and supportive, while both men and women rated a higher level of connection when the discussion focused mainly on the woman.
“You could say men are self-centered and women are always trying to please men, but it turns out that’s just not true,” McFarland said. “This is a situation in life where women have the power. Women feel disconnected when they have to ask men questions or when men ask them questions.”
The study also found women were more likely to be selective in determining a connection with a date.
One of the post-date questions asked whether each partner would be interested in seeing the person again on a more complete date. In such cases where both were interested, a real date was arranged.
From: Standford University.