Speed dating is not just popular among those looking for romance.
However, when women rotated, the trend for higher female selectivity vanished, with men saying yes 43% of the time while women said yes 45% of the time.
"It was astonishing that simply reversing which sex rotated demolished such a well-established sex difference, one that has frequently has been attributed to deep-rooted psychological adaptations," says Finkel.
The researchers think the reason for this phenomenon is related to embodiment — the idea that physical actions can alter perception.
So the researchers decided to explore whether having males literally walking up to seated females was having a psychological effect.
The researchers established 15 speed-dating events for 350 young adults.
During eight events, men rotated around the seated women, and during seven events, women moved between seated men.When men rotated, men said yes 50% of the time and women said yes 43% of the time.Psychologists have found that although men choose, on average, half of the women present, women choose to see only a third of the men again. Among animals, females are usually the picky ones, because they make the larger reproductive investment.However, the new research, by Eli Finkel and Paul Eastwick, social psychologists at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, demonstrates that tinkering with the speed-dating format alters human behaviour, dramatically changing the outcome."We asked executives from a commercial speed-dating company why they always had men rotate.They told us it was because women tend to have purses and other things to carry and because 'it seems more chivalrous'," says Eastwick.