First impressions speed dating
Midway through the evening, we interrupted dates asking participants to make a brief introduction and then to stop their date.
We then asked them two basic questions: how do you feel about the person you just met, and why?
Research indicates that brief impressions are lasting impressions.
Consider the programmatic work on thin slicing by Ambady, made popular in Gladwell’s Blink.
Physical attraction was a dominant theme driving positive evaluations; this is not shallow, attraction is biological (we’ll talk about this another time).
This modern phenomenon is largely credited to Rabbi Deyo, who explains speed dating started as a way for Jewish singles to meet one another.
The real benefit of speed dating, though, is similar to that of online dating: you and your date share the same goal.
Aristotle argued that communication is goal oriented, and findings from Mongeau indicate that individuals go on dates with goal(s) in mind.
Has a great person ever hit on you at the wrong time? Or someone is flirting with you at a family party (not a cousin…hopefully)? At speed dating, though, time is not an issue: everyone is there with the common goal of, hopefully, meeting someone great.
This introduces the question of how you make that great first impression?