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Each date lasts just a few minutes, and the attendees use their quickly generated impressions to decide whether or not they would (‘yes’) or would not (‘no’) be interested in seeing each of their speed-dates again.
Typically, mutual yesses (‘matches’) are then given the ability to contact each other after the event to further explore any romantic possibilities.
It is true that people at parties can often form real relationships with real futures, and this external validity makes such social gatherings ideal sources of data on real-life mating behaviour (Eastwick & Finkel, in press).
But at a party, there are many uncontrolled factors that weaken internal validity.
If participants are able to accurately judge teaching effectiveness (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993) or personality (Kenny, 1994) within minutes, they might just as quickly glean accurate information regarding romantic compatibility.
The basic structure of a speed-dating study A speed-dating study typically consists of three parts.
Time permitting, researchers might also assess baseline levels of biomarkers such as cortisol and alpha amylase, and, in women, contraception use and menstrual cycle phase.