NPR

When It Comes To Romantic Attraction, Real Life Beats Questionnaires

Questionnaires of the sort used by dating apps don't even come close to predicting initial attraction compared to meeting someone in real life, a study finds. The ineffable mystery of romance remains.
Dating sites claim to winnow a few ideal suitors out of a nigh-infinite pool of chaff. But the matches these algorithms offer may be no better than picking partners at random, a study finds. / Gary Waters / Getty Images

Dating sites claim to winnow a few ideal suitors out of a nigh-infinite pool of chaff. But the matches these algorithms offer may be no better than picking partners at random, a study finds.

Researchers asked about 350 heterosexual undergrads at Northwestern University to fill out questionnaires assessing their personalities and romantic preferences.

They were quizzed about things like self-esteem, goals, values, loneliness, what you're looking for in a partner, how assertive or patient or creative you want the partner to be and how much of those things are you, says Samantha Joel,, which was published last week in . "Lots of traits that have been theorized to be important for relationships in past literature."

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