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View Full Version : Another human experiment by an online company



parallaxicality
2014-Jul-30, 08:59 AM
The dating website OK Cupid deliberately swapped the profile information of thousands of users, trying to determine which factors were actually useful. OK, a bit unethical, but logical. What were their findings? First, when people were told that they were good matches, they acted as if they were, even if they weren't. Second, the profiles people posted made hardly any difference at all; it was the photo that counted.

Why is it that no matter how many compassionate, empathic, wise and lucid people I meet, the evidence always seems to show that in bulk, humanity is selfish, shallow, susceptible, superficial and stupid?

Hlafordlaes
2014-Jul-30, 11:00 AM
The dating website OK Cupid deliberately swapped the profile information of thousands of users, trying to determine which factors were actually useful. OK, a bit unethical, but logical. What were their findings? First, when people were told that they were good matches, they acted as if they were, even if they weren't. Second, the profiles people posted made hardly any difference at all; it was the photo that counted.

There's a new study (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/23/1409860111) about snap judgements and facial features out of the UK. Seems alright, but I guess the features are culturally biased somewhat.


Why is it that no matter how many compassionate, empathic, wise and lucid people I meet, the evidence always seems to show that in bulk, humanity is selfish, shallow, susceptible, superficial and stupid?

Bit cynical, but imo those who know you act more like the first, and those who don't like the second.

profloater
2014-Jul-30, 01:06 PM
... it was the photo that counted.

Why is it that no matter how many compassionate, empathic, wise and lucid people I meet, the evidence always seems to show that in bulk, humanity is selfish, shallow, susceptible, superficial and stupid?my bold

High survival/reproductive effectiveness value in developed societies? Sad but no doubt logical and much in evidence.

Ara Pacis
2014-Jul-30, 01:39 PM
This doesn't surprise me or bother me. That site has always talked about the science if matching and performed different tests and experiments. Probably why their logo is (or was) an Erlenmeyer flask.

The problem with facebook was that it doesn't not style itself that way and so it was less expected, and because the intent was to manipulate emotions, and because they had the balls to convince someone to publish it in PNAS.

John Mendenhall
2014-Jul-30, 01:52 PM
my bold

High survival/reproductive effectiveness value in developed societies? Sad but no doubt logical and much in evidence.

Agreed.

I have had the peculiar good fortune to get better looking as I have aged. Thinner, more rugged looking, better (if less) hair. With it comes interest from people who wouldn't have given a second glance before. And no, I haven't taken advantage of it. One beautiful woman is my significant other. For life.

Worth noting that lawyers say that a jury makes its decision the first time they see the defendent.

Jens
2014-Jul-30, 10:56 PM
.

Why is it that no matter how many compassionate, empathic, wise and lucid people I meet, the evidence always seems to show that in bulk, humanity is selfish, shallow, susceptible, superficial and stupid?

I hope this doesn't sound too cynical, but perhaps the character of a social predator is to be compassionate and empathetic to those in your own social group, and selfish and shallow toward those outside, and perhaps the reason we get along well with dogs is that they share the same basic character.

SkepticJ
2014-Jul-31, 04:15 AM
What were their findings? First, when people were told that they were good matches, they acted as if they were, even if they weren't.

By a few percentage points, big whoop.


Second, the profiles people posted made hardly any difference at all; it was the photo that counted.

A picture is worth a thousand words. If someone looks like a nice, happy person in their photos, there's a good chance (sociopaths that are good actors aside) that they really are. If they're doing something interesting in their profile pictures, like the photos show that they travel to exotic locals, go in for adventurous activities like rock climbing, or whatever, hey!
Physical attractiveness isn't a baseless metric, either. What does physical attractiveness mean? It means that the individual has good genes and doesn't suffer from disfiguring diseases. They're fit mates, from an evolutionary perspective. If they don't have a picture up, what are they hiding?


Why is it that no matter how many compassionate, empathic, wise and lucid people I meet, the evidence always seems to show that in bulk, humanity is selfish, shallow, susceptible, superficial and stupid?

Maybe because you have incredibly high standards? Being a good person isn't an all-or-nothing thing. Everyone is lacking somewhere.

Albert Einstein? Benjamin Franklin? Since this is a family-friendly forum, let's just say that they weren't faithful to their wives. Isaac Newton? Major jerk.

WayneFrancis
2014-Jul-31, 04:27 AM
I'd have to check if this went against their terms of service or if there was some other angle of false advertisement. Did they do something illegal?
I can't remember if they charge for their site. If they do then there might be some grounds for members to demand financial restitution because
the service people believed they were getting may not have matched what was advertised.

As for the photos being the primary driver...welcome to being a great ape. We, like many other animals, have our attraction based largely on
physical properties. Looks and smell being high on the list. Body language a 3rd. Personality comes into play but for everyone I've ever met
that is down on the list. We are superficial creatures when it comes to first impressions. It is hard to judge a person's personality from a 2
second glance. To boot some traits you might find annoying we are a bit hard wired for. I know if I want to attract women in a room I can
slightly alter my behavior to increase my chances. For most women seeing a dominate male increases their attraction. Doesn't matter if the
male is a bit of a ...ummm... unpleasant person. Doesn't even matter if the man isn't all that attractive.

Women are very good at manipulating our evolutionary psychology. Older women bleaching their hair sends a signal to others that they are
actually younger then they actually are making them more desirable as a potential mate. Same goes for push up bras, high heels and many other
things women do to alter their natural appearance. There is a TON of actual science out there into the psychology of attraction within our species.

Well over a decade ago I shifted my thinking. When I go out to meet women for the first time I have zero expectations. I realize for various reasons
different women will not be attracted to me for different reasons. I'm at the stage in my life where I'm not looking to just pick up so putting on any
type of act doesn't help me with my goal of finding a woman that I'm attracted to, she is attracted to me and we'll be compatible, personality wise,
long term. Don't get me wrong I still need to find a woman attractive. She doesn't have to be drop dead gorgeous, that would help tho. But I have to
be physically attracted by her. This isn't just about looks either. Smell, intelligence, attitude all factor in. If I said that physical appearance didn't
factor in then by all rights I should be bisexual but I'm not.

Jens
2014-Jul-31, 04:42 AM
We, like many other animals, have our attraction based largely on physical properties.



Doesn't even matter if the man isn't all that attractive.


Those two statements seem to be contradictory to me. But I suppose it depends on what you mean by "physical properties." Melting point and magnetic permeability and stuff like that?

parallaxicality
2014-Jul-31, 09:53 AM
Physical attractiveness isn't a baseless metric, either. What does physical attractiveness mean? It means that the individual has good genes and doesn't suffer from disfiguring diseases. They're fit mates, from an evolutionary perspective. If they don't have a picture up, what are they hiding?

So natural selection forgives everything? Great. Let's run our culture entirely on evolutionary principles. The strong survive, the weak perish. I mean I thought we'd moved beyond all that but what the hey. Let's go back to when disabled babies were left outside to die. Hell, why do we need post-natal care? If women die giving birth, they clearly weren't fit enough.


Maybe because you have incredibly high standards? Being a good person isn't an all-or-nothing thing. Everyone is lacking somewhere.

Albert Einstein? Benjamin Franklin? Since this is a family-friendly forum, let's just say that they weren't faithful to their wives. Isaac Newton? Major jerk.

I never said I liked Isaac Newton. And yes I have high standards, but we live in an age in which humans have an incredible amount of power. We can't make excuses if we are unfit to wield it.

profloater
2014-Jul-31, 10:38 AM
No that's wrong the strong do not survive in modern societies, thay may do in primative societies but now the ones who have the most babies dominate because infant mortality is now close to zero and all children are cared for by the state where necessary so they survive to reproduce.

primummobile
2014-Jul-31, 11:25 AM
The fact that the state cares for all doesn't change the fact that we are hardwired to seek out suitable mates. Unfortunately, laws and social customs can't change nature in a few decades.

Attractiveness isn't as important to a woman seeking a man because the most attractive men are rarely the most successful. We are conditioned by thousands of years to view men as providers and women as mothers. That's why we act the way we do. It has nothing to do with being shallow. It's about giving our offspring the best chance to survive and thrive. That society takes up much of the slack for us won't do much to change our conditioning in the short term.

Gillianren
2014-Jul-31, 03:27 PM
For most women seeing a dominate male increases their attraction. Doesn't matter if the male is a bit of a ...ummm... unpleasant person. Doesn't even matter if the man isn't all that attractive.

You mean "dominant," and you're still wrong. It may be worth noting at this juncture that not all people find the same things attractive.

primummobile
2014-Jul-31, 03:37 PM
You mean "dominant," and you're still wrong. It may be worth noting at this juncture that not all people find the same things attractive.

Beauty is subjective so attractivness is as well. But he said "most" and he isn't wrong.

profloater
2014-Jul-31, 04:18 PM
One guideline for advertisers for whatever product is to feature healthy looking people looking happy. This seems to be a strong motivation to feel positive and a smile makes everybody look attractive so it does more than just a simple signal. It seems women learn quickly not to smile too much at strange men, I mean men who are strangers, because it sends such a strong signal. Then of course we are sensitive to many kinds of smile with tiny subtle differences. The smile which switches on i.e validating, is more powerful than a fixed smile which seems weird.

Gillianren
2014-Jul-31, 04:57 PM
Beauty is subjective so attractivness is as well. But he said "most" and he isn't wrong.

[citation needed]

primummobile
2014-Jul-31, 06:28 PM
[citation needed]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2506012/Wide-faced-men-wealthier-powerful-aggressive--fertile-women-attractive-dont-want-marry--study-reveals.html

I shouldn't have to provide citations that dominant males have more female admirers. That's the way it is for every mammal. There isn't any reason for humans to be different. But if you think that, based upon your experience or some cultural norm that it isn't true then you can google it just as well as I can.

Gillianren
2014-Jul-31, 06:56 PM
Yeah, and I sure wouldn't provide The Daily Mail as my first citation if I did.

Ara Pacis
2014-Jul-31, 07:14 PM
LOL. Science is great until it supports an idea we dislike.

primummobile
2014-Jul-31, 07:14 PM
Yeah, and I sure wouldn't provide The Daily Mail as my first citation if I did.

OMG I just posted the first one on the list. There were others. You still haven't offered anything to substantiate that females, as a whole, aren't more attracted to dominant males. You haven't offered anything other than "you're wrong".

People can control who they choose as mates. They can't control who they are attracted to. Anything that says otherwise is just postmodernist bunk.

Gillianren
2014-Jul-31, 07:25 PM
LOL. Science is great until it supports an idea we dislike.

I hear the claim a lot. I've never seen anything like convincing evidence that it's actually true.

SkepticJ
2014-Aug-01, 06:15 PM
So natural selection forgives everything? Great. Let's run our culture entirely on evolutionary principles. The strong survive, the weak perish. I mean I thought we'd moved beyond all that but what the hey. Let's go back to when disabled babies were left outside to die. Hell, why do we need post-natal care? If women die giving birth, they clearly weren't fit enough.

No, I didn't even imply that. Please don't build strawmen. I meant only what I typed: physical attractiveness is indicative of health, so of course it would be selected for. We haven't moved beyond wanting to see our progeny be healthy. Should we?


I never said I liked Isaac Newton.

Surely you appreciate what he did, though? Newtonian mechanics, study of optics, co-invented calculus . . . No, he shouldn't have been a jerk, but he more than made up for it, wouldn't you say? There are tons of jerks, very few of them revolutionize the crap out of physics and mathematics.


And yes I have high standards, but we live in an age in which humans have an incredible amount of power. We can't make excuses if we are unfit to wield it.

So dating preferences lead to self-created existential threats? Is that what you're saying? If so, I think there are more than a few cars missing in the logic train.

Ara Pacis
2014-Aug-01, 06:28 PM
I'd have to check if this went against their terms of service or if there was some other angle of false advertisement.I doubt it, they have historically run data-mining experiments with user data. look at oktrends.okcupid.com, the side of their blog.


Did they do something illegal?I think the argument is about ethics, not legality.


I can't remember if they charge for their site. If they do then there might be some grounds for members to demand financial restitution because
the service people believed they were getting may not have matched what was advertised.No and yes. The standard account is free and has no limitations. However, there are some extra features available for people who want to upgrade to a paid account.


If I said that physical appearance didn't factor in then by all rights I should be bisexual but I'm not.

I suspect you might be in for a surprise when it moves beyond appearance to tactility.

parallaxicality
2014-Aug-01, 08:06 PM
Surely you appreciate what he did, though? Newtonian mechanics, study of optics, co-invented calculus . . . No, he shouldn't have been a jerk, but he more than made up for it, wouldn't you say? There are tons of jerks, very few of them revolutionize the crap out of physics and mathematics.

He also deliberately destroyed the reputation of Robert Hooke, who likely would have contributed more to the advancement of science if not for Newton's influence, so it goes both ways.


So dating preferences lead to self-created existential threats? Is that what you're saying? If so, I think there are more than a few cars missing in the logic train.

Every human on Earth is consuming resources, breathing air, and eroding the environment just by existing. The cumulative effect of 7 billion human bodies swarming over the Earth is what will ultimately decide our fate as a species. If we cannot each individually behave in an enlightened, sustainable manner, and not in the superficial, short-term manner dictated by our genes, then we will go the way of 99 percent of the species before us.

SkepticJ
2014-Aug-01, 10:22 PM
I hear the claim a lot. I've never seen anything like convincing evidence that it's actually true.

Directed at you, or just in general?

If just in general, then: anthropogenic global warming, the fact of biological evolution, and that vaccines, drugs, and other Real Medicine are beneficial for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

SkepticJ
2014-Aug-01, 10:32 PM
Every human on Earth is consuming resources, breathing air, and eroding the environment just by existing. The cumulative effect of 7 billion human bodies swarming over the Earth is what will ultimately decide our fate as a species. If we cannot each individually behave in an enlightened, sustainable manner, and not in the superficial, short-term manner dictated by our genes, then we will go the way of 99 percent of the species before us.

Yes, that's true, but we're talking about dating preferences here, you're assigning way more gravitas to this than is warranted. How do you know that their dating choices didn't work out toward the greater good, anyway? Would you rather that people force themselves to date other people that they really don't want to?

parallaxicality
2014-Aug-01, 11:00 PM
It's another symptom; one of many. If you want to assign more gravitas, you need do nothing more than turn on the news right now.

primummobile
2014-Aug-02, 01:20 PM
There is absolutely no evidence that dating people you prefer to date causes any more population pressure than it would if people were to not use attraction as a basis. People are going to mate whether or not there are "attractive" partners available.

profloater
2014-Aug-02, 01:30 PM
Well speak for yourself!:)

Ara Pacis
2014-Aug-02, 06:40 PM
There is absolutely no evidence that dating people you prefer to date causes any more population pressure than it would if people were to not use attraction as a basis. People are going to mate whether or not there are "attractive" partners available.

There are a lot of people who are "all or nothing" who if they cannot obtain "all" will stick with "nothing".

primummobile
2014-Aug-02, 07:50 PM
There are a lot of people who are "all or nothing" who if they cannot obtain "all" will stick with "nothing".

That must be why there are seven billion people on the planet and so much infidelity and divorces. Why heterosexuals will engage in homosexual acts when there are no opposite sex partners available.

Yes, many people are like what you said. Most aren't.