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Study Says Too Much Choice Will Leave You Lonely

by Kathy Jones on March 8, 2011 at 9:50 PM
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 Study Says Too Much Choice Will Leave You Lonely

The more options you have for choosing a lover, the likelier you are to end up alone, Brit scientists have found.

Their study looked at the strange dynamics of choice in speed-dating-a fashionable way for singles to meet, reports the Independent.

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The researchers discovered that many speed-daters found more potential partners when the available candidates were all broadly similar.

But when candidates were too dissimilar, speed-daters became confused by many conflicting factors and often failed to choose anyone.

"There are models of human 'rationality', which posit that variety is a good thing," said researcher Alison Lenton at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
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"What will be surprising to some people is that our results suggest that increasing option variety leads to chooser confusion. People are more likely to choose no-one at all when faced with greater variety," said Lenton.

The study tracked 1,868 female and 1,870 male participants at 84 commercial speed-dating events.

Speed-daters met in groups and engaged in 3-minute encounters with between 15 and 31 singles of the opposite sex.

Big speed-dating events typically generated 123 such "proposals," or shows of interest, when candidates were similar, the researchers found. But the number dropped by more than a quarter, to 88, when candidates were varied.

Again small speed-dating events would lead to 85 proposals when candidates were similar. But this fell by nearly a third, to 57 proposals, when candidates were varied.

The study has been published in the British journal Biology Letters.

Source: ANI
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