Very interesting book by one of the founders of OkCupid. OkCupid is a dating site that has written up a lot of interesting blog posts about their data, and the book is an extension of this. Some particularly interesting parts:
– When men rate women on the site (the rating system is from 1 to 5), the distribution is almost symmetric around 3.0. This is kind of encouraging, going against the theory that men have unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies. On the other hand, when women rate men the average rating is closer to 2.25!
– For women, the age of the men that look most attractive to them is pretty close to their age, at least up until age 40. For men, hilariously the women that look most attractive to them are of age 20-23, regardless of their age! However, men do apparently have somewhat realistic expectations, and the women they message tend to be somewhere between their age and 20.
– If you look at the distribution of the ratings that people get, a person who has a higher variance of ratings (i.e. more 1’s and more 5’s) gets more messages than one who is more “consistent”, even if the consistent one has the same number of 4 and 5 ratings!
– He cites a study (study, news article about study), if you look at the Facebook connections between couples and their friends, a good predictor of the strength of the relationship is “disperson” – having the couple’s mutual friends not be well connected except through the couple.
– They tried an experiment and launched a mobile app called “Crazy Blind Date” which would set up a date for you with someone the service picked, but you had no way to communicate with your date beforehand. It wasn’t particularly popular, but after the date the app would ask how it went, and there was no correlation between how the date went and the attractiveness of the people involved!
– There’s a lot of depressing stuff about race. Here’s a blog post that talks about it.