First you’ll hear Stephen Dubner interview Alli Reed, a comedy writer living in Los Angeles, who conducted an experiment of sorts on Ok Cupid: So she created a fake profile for a woman she called “Aaron Carter Fan” (Aaron Carter, for the uninitiated, is the younger brother of a Backstreet Boy.) Reed loaded her profile with despicable traits (see the whole list below) but used photos of a model friend. (For more, see Reed’s article “Four Things I Learned from the Worst Online Dating Profile Ever.“) Oyer hadn’t thought much about online dating until he re-entered the dating scene himself after a long absence and was struck by the parallels between the dating markets and labor markets. Vogt opened up his Ok Cupid profile to let Oyer dissect and, theoretically, improve it.
If only people approached dating like an economist, he thought, they’d be better off. You’ll hear what Vogt had done right, what Oyer thinks was wrong, and what happens when you update your profile, economist-style. All my Jewish friends talk about being under pressure from mum to meet a good Jewish boy or girl, but they don’t happen to be everywhere, but they’re all over J-Date.
Both sides know that something better might become available and there is often a reluctance to settle, and in both cases there is a big potential penalty for being too picky.
This week’s episode is called “What You Don’t Know About Online Dating.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at i Tunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.
And how can the romantics among us signal that we’re in it for a mate, not just mating?