What to do during speed dating

"However, very little has been known about how this might work in real social interactions with real consequences—such as when making decisions about whether to date someone or not.

And almost nothing is known about how this type of rapid judgment is made by the brain."In the study, 39 heterosexual male and female volunteers were placed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (f MRI) machine and then shown pictures of potential dates of the opposite sex.

If someone thought a potential date was more likeable than other people did, then that someone was more likely to ask for a date."Our work shows for the first time that activity in two parts of the DMPFC may be very important for driving the snapshot judgments that we make all the time about other people," O'Doherty says. A few couples were still together six weeks afterward, Cooper says, but the researchers have not followed up.

This phenomenon was fairly consistent across all participants, says Jeff Cooper, a former postdoctoral scholar in O'Doherty's lab and first author of the paper.

Having another person show real interest is extremely flattering, so asking interesting speed dating questions should score good points with your date, but best of all, being well prepared with good questions will allow your dates to see you at your very best - relaxed, sociable and confidently out-going.

Feel free to use any of these as they are, or as a starting point to inspire your own, and remember to email us your favourites at the address below!

The second factor, which may be less obvious, involves people's own individual preferences—how compatible a potential partner may be, for instance.

The study, which is published in the November 7 issue of the , is one of the first to look at what happens in the brain when people make rapid-judgment decisions that carry real social consequences, the researchers say."Psychologists have known for some time that people can often make very rapid judgments about others based on limited information, such as appearance," says John O'Doherty, professor of psychology and one of the paper's coauthors.

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