Tuesday April 23, 2019
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Online Daters Tend to Aim High, Study Says

People have probably been pining for unattainable love interests since the dawn of time

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A man uses the dating app Tinder in New Delhi, India. (VOA)

Most people who use online dating websites seek partners who are out of their league, said a study Wednesday based on heterosexuals in four big US cities.

“Both men and women pursued partners about 25 percent more ‘desirable’ than themselves,” said the report in the journal Science Advances.

Hardly anyone reached out to people who ranked significantly lower than themselves.

People’s desirability was determined using a ranking algorithm based on how many messages they received from other popular users on a dating site in New York, Seattle, Boston and Chicago.

“If you are contacted by people who are themselves desirable, then you are presumably more desirable yourself,” said the study.

Using this PageRank algorithm, which is employed by web search engines, researchers could establish a person’s “league,” which they scientifically coined “hierarchies of desirability.”

For some at the pinnacle of the dating game, the flurry of messages from would-be suitors was dizzying.

“The most popular individual in our four cities, a 30-year-old woman living in New York, received 1,504 messages during the period of observation, equivalent to one message every 30 min, day and night, for the entire month,” said the study.

online-dating
Study: Online Daters Aim ‘Out of Their League’. Pixabay

While researchers did not reveal the end to this lady’s love story, they did find that the majority of daters on the site tended to reach out to people who were ranked higher than themselves.

They also tended to send lengthier messages to people deemed higher on the desirability ladder.

In most cases, these long-shots fell short.

When there is a big gap in desirability between online daters, “there is a pronounced drop in the probability of reply,” said the report.

And only in Seattle were there signs that long letters were more successful than short messages at getting a potential mate to respond.

People have probably been pining for unattainable love interests since the dawn of time.

Also Read: Online Trolls Exposed By FBI Task force

But taking a scientific look at the phenomenon gives cause for hope, according to lead author Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

“I think a common complaint when people use online dating websites is they feel like they never get any replies,” she said.

“This can be dispiriting. But even though the response rate is low, our analysis shows that 21 percent of people who engage in this aspirational behavior do get replies from a mate who is out of their league, so perseverance pays off.” (VOA)

Next Story

New AI-based System May Counter Online Dating Frauds

In these scams, fraudsters target users of dating websites and apps, 'groom' them and then ask for gifts of money or loans which will never be returned, they noted

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Artificial Intelligence Bot
Artificial Intelligence Bot. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system to restrict fake profiles designed to con people on dating apps and websites.

The computing algorithms have been designed specifically to understand what fake dating profiles look like and then to apply this knowledge to scan profiles submitted to online dating services.

The algorithms, part of a wide-ranging research, have the capability to ‘think’ like humans to pinpoint fake profiles, said the researchers, including Tom Sorell, Professor at the University of Warwick in the UK.

“Using AI techniques to help reveal suspicious activity could be a game-changer that makes detection and prevention quicker, easier and more effective, ensuring that people can use dating sites with much more confidence in future,” said Sorell in a statement released on Tuesday by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

When tested, the research team found that the algorithms produced a very low false-positive rate (the number of genuine profiles mistakenly flagged up as fake) of around 1 per cent.

online-dating
A man uses the dating app Tinder in New Delhi, India. (VOA)

The new algorithms automatically look out for suspicious signs inadvertently included by fraudsters in the demographic information, the images and the self-descriptions that make up profiles, and reach an overall conclusion about the probability of each individual profile being fake.

According to the researchers, the aim is now to further enhance the technique and enable it to start being taken up by dating services within the next couple of years, helping them to prevent profiles being posted by scammers.

Also Read- Andhra Government to Give Free Smartphones to 1.4 Crore Women

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the news that these AI capabilities have the potential to help thwart so-called ‘rom-con’ scams will be very welcome to the millions of people who use online dating services in the UK and worldwide, the researchers said.

In these scams, fraudsters target users of dating websites and apps, ‘groom’ them and then ask for gifts of money or loans which will never be returned, they noted. (IANS)