Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.

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Even if meet-and-greet matching events might seem like the most efficient way to comb through many options at once, a wealth of data reveals that the context in which we make a choice weighs heavily on the outcome.

Speed-dating events can promote a particular decision-making style that might not always work in our favor.

As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.

I made some beginner’s mistakes; however, I am not alone in having struggled with speed dating.

Prior research by Lenton and Francesconi provides some insight into why people might struggle with speed dating.

They found that when the number of participants in a speed-dating event increases, people lean more heavily on innate guidelines, known as heuristics, in their decision making.

Know Your Environment One problem with both speed dating and online dating may arise from how we hunt for the things we want.

Some items can be found with a simple search targeted at objective qualities.

These rules of thumb are evolutionarily adaptive, however, and not necessarily a bad thing.