Also, you’ll learn just how awful a person can be and, if you’re attractive enough, still reel in the dates.First you’ll hear Stephen Dubner interview Alli Reed, a comedy writer living in Los Angeles, who conducted an experiment of sorts on Ok Cupid: So she created a fake profile for a woman she called “Aaron Carter Fan” (Aaron Carter, for the uninitiated, is the younger brother of a Backstreet Boy.) Reed loaded her profile with despicable traits (see the whole list below) but used photos of a model friend. (For more, see Reed’s article “Four Things I Learned from the Worst Online Dating Profile Ever.“) Oyer hadn’t thought much about online dating until he re-entered the dating scene himself after a long absence and was struck by the parallels between the dating markets and labor markets. Vogt opened up his Ok Cupid profile to let Oyer dissect and, theoretically, improve it.We thought we’d examine the theories put forward by economists as to how dating work, and then compare that to the reality.
Suppose you are one of a number of boys hanging out at the school coffee bar.
At the other side of the bar there is a group of beautiful girls, all but one of them brunette.
If only people approached dating like an economist, he thought, they’d be better off. You’ll hear what Vogt had done right, what Oyer thinks was wrong, and what happens when you update your profile, economist-style. All my Jewish friends talk about being under pressure from mum to meet a good Jewish boy or girl, but they don’t happen to be everywhere, but they’re all over J-Date.
Finally, the economist Justin Wolfers points out one of the most revolutionary benefits of online dating — finding matches in traditionally “thin” markets: WOLFERS: So I do think it’s a really big deal for young gay and lesbian men and women in otherwise homophobic areas. And I imagine this is true in other ethnic communities.
Out of a very basic desire to seek rewards and avoid punishments, individuals (a.k.a.
Mill), Sociology (George Homans, Peter Blau), and Social Psychology (Thibaut & Kelly) Focus: Individuals interact for profit or the expectation of it. operant conditioning, stimulus-response psychology) explains all behavior in terms of its reward seeking/punishment avoiding motivation.The situation at the bar is an example of a game: the boys are the players and the actions they may choose (either "go for the blonde" or "go for a brunette") are called strategies.Each boy has to decide what to do without knowing what the others will do.People are complex, and the reasons why we do or don’t hit it off with one another can be unpredictable.But as with any complex market, there are some underlying principles to dating, and certain commonalities that are exposed when you look beyond your own experiences.There exists obvious strategic interaction among the players.