What Makes You Click: An Analysis of Online Dating

The New York Times recently published an article summarizing the results of a new study, “What Makes You Click: An Empirical Analysis of Online Dating,” conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago.
From the Times’ summary of the study:

What are people looking for? The most important variable, for both men and women, is looks. Furthermore, posting a photo is a big help: women who post photos receive about twice as many e-mail messages as those who do not, even when they report that they have “average looks.”
Having a lot of money is good for attracting e-mail messages, at least for men. Those men reporting incomes in excess of $250,000 received 156 percent more e-mail messages than those with incomes below $50,000. Women like men with a higher income than they have but men do not want to date women who earn more than they do.
The stated goals for using the service make a big difference in how many e-mail messages are received. Men who are “hoping to start a long-term relationship” receive substantially more e-mail than those who are “just looking/curious.” The worst thing a man can say is that he is “seeking a casual relationship,” receiving 42 percent fewer e-mail messages than he would otherwise. A woman, by contrast, gets 17 percent more e-mail messages by reporting this goal.

Thanks to Don Hauptman for the tip.