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” We can use our genetic data to find men and women who have had a child together These “trios” are often used in genetics to study, among other things, how genes and diseases are passed from parents to children.
", which lets us see whether similar people tend to pair up using a very different data set.
I also looked for opposites attracting in other online dating data.
I spoke to Christian Rudder, founder of Ok Cupid, which has a rich and idiosyncratic data set.
In a final effort to find opposites who attracted on e Harmony, I decided to look for the cliché example: sugar daddies. Of course, in a dataset of a million couples, you’ll find some who fit the sugar daddy stereotype: a younger and more attractive woman matched with an older, wealthier man.
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If we compute “e Harmony status” — how often a user is asked out by their matches — we find it also follows this pattern: Everyone prefers high-status users, but high-status users show a stronger preference for other high-status users.
(It’s possible that they don’t really feel a stronger preference, but merely feel more confident in their ability to win a fellow high-status mate.) On the other hand, traits whose optimal value is more arguable — like whether you have children or what religion you follow — tend to follow the first pattern.
To find potential matches, users submit and answer hundreds of questions ranging from, “In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be exciting?
” to, “Would you consider sleeping with someone on the first date?