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“The greater choice set pays dividends to people who are willing to be persistent in trying to find a mate.”Of the study as a whole, he said: “I think its conclusions are robust and its methodologies are sound.”Yet what also emerges from the data is a far more depressing idea of “leagues” than many joking friends would suppose.

Across the four cities and the thousands of users, consistent patterns around age, race, and education level emerge.

The longest messages in the study were sent by Seattle men, the study says,“and only Seattle men experience a payoff to writing longer messages.” A more educated man is almost always more desirable, on average: Men with postgraduate degrees outperform men with bachelor’s degrees; men with bachelor’s degrees beat high-school graduates.“But for women, an undergraduate degree is most desirable,” the study says.

“Postgraduate education is associated with decreased desirability among women.”positive language when messaging more desirable women.

If you contacted a much less desirable person, their desirability score would rise; if they contacted you then your score would fall.

It found that—insofar as dating “leagues” are not different tiers of hotness, but a single ascending hierarchy of desirability—then they do seem to exist in the data.

But people do not seem universally locked into them—and they can occasionally find success escaping from theirs.

If this was a site that was 20 percent white, we may see a totally different desirability hierarchy.”“Other people have done research using data from online-dating sites, and found similar racial and gender hierarchies,” said Rosenfeld, the Stanford professor.

And Bruch emphasized that the hierarchy did not just depend on race, age, and education level: Because it is derived from user behavior, it “captures whatever traits people are responding to when they pursue partners.

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