Something awful dating
Remember the episode where Rachel makes Ross promise her that if neither of them are married by the time they’re 40, they’ll settle down and marry each other?That’s what Mc Gregor and Sterling-Angus were after — a sort of romantic safety net that prioritized stability over initial attraction.The idea was to match people not based solely on similarities (unless that’s what a participant values in a relationship), but on complex compatibility questions.Each person would fill out a detailed survey, and the algorithm would compare their responses to everyone else’s, using a learned compatibility model to assign a “compatibility score.” It then made the best one-to-one pairings possible — giving each person the best match it could — while also doing the same for everyone else.They found out they’d both grown up in Los Angeles, had attended nearby high schools, and eventually wanted to work in entertainment. “It was the excitement of getting paired with a stranger but the possibility of not getting paired with a stranger,” she mused.“I didn’t have to filter myself at all.” Coffee turned into lunch, and the pair decided to skip their afternoon classes to hang out. In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper wrote a paper on the paradox of choice — the concept that having too many options can lead to decision paralysis.But it’s unclear if the project can scale beyond the bubble of elite college campuses, or if the algorithm, now operating among college students, contains the magic key to a stable marriage.The idea was hatched during an economics class on market design and matching algorithms in fall 2017.
Next year the study will be in its third year, and Mc Gregor and Sterling-Angus tentatively plan to launch it at a few more schools including Dartmouth, Princeton, and the University of Southern California.They’ve run the experiment two years in a row, and last year, 7,600 students participated: 4,600 at Stanford, or just over half the undergraduate population, and 3,000 at Oxford, which the creators chose as a second location because Sterling-Angus had studied abroad there.“There were videos on Snapchat of people freaking out in their freshman dorms, just screaming,” Sterling-Angus said.The flaws they’d seen the first year could be easily fixed — there were simple ways to make sure no one matched with their siblings — but for now, their proof of concept had worked. The Marriage Pact’s focus on core values echoes that of older dating sites like Ok Cupid, which gives users a list of potential mates with compatibility scores based on a questionnaire.But Ok Cupid still runs into the issue of presenting people with seemingly infinite options.
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If you’re spending 50 years with someone, I think you get past their height.” The pair quickly realized that selling long-term partnership to college students wouldn’t work.