Women typically carry more things with them (such as a purse and pieces of clothing) than men do, so it is physically easier for men to go around the room quickly than it is for women.
For this reason, the format where women remain seated and men go around the room has become in all speed-dating events.
This is not at all surprising, as it is what evolutionary psychology would predict and it is what we normally observe in real life (less selective, more aggressive men, and choosier and more coy women).
In sharp contrast, in the novel “women rotate, men sit” arrangement, women were just as aggressive and, as a result, less selective, as men were in their mate choice; they checked as many “yeses” for men as men did for women, and they experienced as much sexual attraction and romantic chemistry for the men as men did for women.
Millions of parties and social gatherings take place throughout the world, and no one is there to measure the interpersonal dynamics taking place in these real-world environments.
As researchers of romantic attraction, we think about all the single people meeting each other for the first time – chatting for a few moments, deciding whether or not they’d like to get to know each other better – and we are heartbroken not to be observing unobtrusively.
The genius of Finkel and Eastwick began when they made one seemingly minor, almost irrelevant observation.
We find some solace by reminding ourselves that parties and bars are not exactly perfect research environments.
One of the most fundamental principles of evolutionary psychology is that women are much more selective than men in their mate choice.
Because women pay far greater reproductive costs by making the wrong choice, women have been designed by evolution to be more cautious and choosier than men in mate selection.
Similarly, non-black participants who have been trained to the joystick away from themselves (a gesture associated with avoidance) when a picture of a white person appears, subsequently exhibit more positive attitudes toward blacks and behave more warmly toward them than do non-black participants who perform either the opposite joystick task or a side-to-side (neutral) joystick task.
Finkel and Eastwick reason similarly to explain their findings.