Most married couples develop a shared understanding of who does what in their relationship.It is a sometimes unspoken recognition of an inevitable division of labor and responsibilities.On Sadie Hawkins Day (traditionally observed in early November) or at a Sadie Hawkins Dance, women have the opportunity to break social conventions by asking men out on a date or to a dance.To study dating behaviors like this, researchers have used the somewhat unique experience of speed dating. Speed-dating is a structured way for daters to meet a lot of people quickly.View the full list On a TV show or in a movie, if a guy and a girl are at a party and one approaches the other to strike up a conversation, chances are that it was the guy who approached the girl.That is because we have what psychologists call “behavioural scripts”, or a sequence of events that we typically expect to occur in social situations.The typical speed-dating event features women sitting at various locations around a room, often a coffee shop or bar, while men circulate and chat with each female for a few minutes.A signal will then indicate that time is up and the men should move along to the next woman.
Psychologists have worked out that they can get swarms of student participants in mate-choice studies by offering speed-dating opportunities on university campuses in return for the right to analyse the dating behaviour during the events. Normally in speed dating, men walk around a room and visit a succession of seated women for mini dates just a few minutes long.I know that some people, particularly women, are likely to object to these seemingly glib caricatures of the various roles women and men play in marriage –and I am not saying that I think this state of affairs is necessarily the way things be-- but I think these generalizations are still a description of how things actually are. None of these general rules applies to every marriage.The following observations are mine alone and may reflect idiosyncrasies of where I live and work.Psychologists have found that although men choose, on average, half of the women present, women choose to see only a third of the men again. Among animals, females are usually the picky ones, because they make the larger reproductive investment.However, the new research, by Eli Finkel and Paul Eastwick, social psychologists at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, demonstrates that tinkering with the speed-dating format alters human behaviour, dramatically changing the outcome.