Love at first sight might be onto something

“The More it changes the more it’s the same thing” as the old proverb goes applies more than ever with today’s online dating. Although the perception is that sites like Tinder, eHarmony, etc. have provided a whole new way of exploring and connecting with others on both romantic and sexual terms, algorithmic match-making dates back as far as the 1960s with The Toledo Blade publishing an article on “Computer Cupid Woo 13-Year Olds” in 1966. Regardless of how far we’ve come in our computational abilities, still today modern match-making algorithms have not been well accepted into the scientific community in making any tangible impact on the quality of the relationship.

What was found by many dating sites and to no surprise was how critical first impressions are, namely one’s profile picture on Tinder. Two graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin published a paper showing how unique looks are the most important factor in finding a mate. However, interestingly it isn’t someone’s attractiveness as is anatomical feature selection pivotal in ensuring a successful match. Jessica Carbino-a Tinder relationship expert and analyst-discovered just how well correlated anatomical features are with social behaviors, namely: “Men with softer jaw lines indicate that they have more compassion” (Carbino). Countering the popular “looks are superficial” rhetoric, research shows how a picture isn’t simply a thousand words but a thousand signals.

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