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These results are especially important given the long line of research indicating that thin slice judgments are consistent with long-term impressions. Houser, our quantitative findings further supported our open-ended responses.
Nonverbal immediacy (e.g., smiling, eye contact, open body orientation) along with social and physical attraction helped explain individuals’ beliefs about relational development.
For a moment, think of the worst first date you ever went on.
You know, the one where that woman just never talked?
Research indicates that brief impressions are lasting impressions.
Consider the programmatic work on thin slicing by Ambady, made popular in Gladwell’s Blink.
On the damaging side, men and women cited a lack of attraction as a primary driver of negative evaluations.
Interestingly, women further explained a perception of “negative qualities” in the other person as something contributing to their negative thin slice judgments.
But, the value of speed dating lies in its efficiency.
With these painful memories in mind, now imagine that the terrible date lasted less than 10 minutes.
That is one of the greatest benefits of speed dating.
Dating is stressful—it takes us out of comfort zone and throws us into a situation with a new person. Now imagine a situation that throws these feelings into hyper speed—namely, speed dating.
We do not know how the date will go, what the topics of conversation will be, and how the date will end (Breakfast? In a typical speed dating event, single adults go on 8-12 dates in an evening that each last about 8 minutes.