Why waste time on some jerk when you've already decided that you'll most likely never speak to him again?

Speed dating also offers a structure that -- in its brevity -- encourages polite behavior.

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Boston University Columbia Business School - Management Division University of Chicago - Booth School of Business - Economics Stanford Graduate School of Business We examine racial preferences in dating using data that allow for the direct observation of decisions of randomly paired individuals in a Speed Dating experiment.

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Furthermore, we observe stronger same race preferences for blacks and Asians than for Hispanics and whites. and Kamenica, Emir and Simonson, Itamar, Racial Preferences in Dating: Evidence from a Speed Dating Experiment (October 2004).

Accounting for self-reported shared interests considerably reduces the observed effect of racial preferences.

Studies like the one at Ohio State University suggest that speed dating should, in theory, work.

If we can determine whether another person is a good match for us in just a minute or two, then speed dating is an optimal approach to selecting a mate.

Another study conducted by Stanford Business, Harvard and Columbia University researchers also found that women in the speed date setting throw out traditional requisites for a mate, like intelligence and sincerity, and go instead for physical attractiveness.

And with the speed-dating service ringing a buzzer that signals the end of a couples' time together, participants can relax knowing that they can largely avoid any awkward end-of-date moments.

But do the rules of attraction still apply in speed dating?

University of Pennsylvania psychologists examined more than 10,000 client responses from Hurry Date's database and found that in the context of a speed date, the usual rules of attraction go out the window.

Factors like religious affiliation and earning potential -- usually viewed as very important in dating -- are replaced by behavioral cues.