Dating your psychologist

If your clients, students, or supervisors are in a similar age group as your dating pool, it may only be a matter of time before these online encounters occur.

"For people who want to whine and moan about how online dating isn't working," says psychologist Eli Finkel, "go back in time to 1975.

Not only is it difficult to guess what others will find attractive in us, but we also can’t be sure what we really want in our partners until we meet them. It’s based on research I did for my book , published by Oneworld this week.

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Thinking carefully about our dream date, and about our own personality, and allowing an algorithm to compute a match, may be an intriguing exercise.

But as Eli Finkel at Northwestern University and colleagues have shown, it isn’t that helpful. In January, I launched a new dating site called 21Pictures which tries to use insights from psychology to create a more intuitive experience, where daters can make the most of their hard-wired social intelligence when choosing a partner.

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Many people search for love on online dating sites, and why should psychologists be any different?

We also want to meet people for activities, dating, and romance.

Sometimes, looking for love online is good way to get outside of our usual social circles without going to bars or singles events.Intuitively building an idea of a person from snapshots of their life – “thin-slicing” as it is known in psychology – is the next best thing when you can’t actually meet them face-to-face. Psychologist Sam Gosling at the University of Texas, who studies how people form impressions of others from cues in their environment, has found that someone’s possessions can teach us more about them than a direct conversation, and more even than what their friends or colleagues might say about them.If you’re seeking to “read” someone from pictures of their apartment, Gosling’s research can help you.The actor and science communicator Alan Alda has spoken of the need at times for us to: Apply that to dating and perhaps what you’ll discover is someone you actually like.The research I’ve looked at suggests that in this domain at least, you’re more likely to succeed if you follow the Alda route.Most dating websites are engines of algorithmic-powered rationality. ); to fill out various personality and psychometric profiles; and generally to ruminate a great deal about your path to a fulfilling relationship.

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