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The blind dates

First Date Study 4

In winter 2009, we set up a study in downtown Manhattan that proved to be incredibly interesting and telling. We rented out a restaurant and rigged it with several cameras and audio equipment. Then we posted an ad on Craig’s List and played matchmaker, setting up 10 mock first dates. We created a scenario in which two people who had never before interacted had a 35-minute conversation. We then took the footage and broke it down, while coding for nonverbal signs of attraction, interest, boredom, offense, and more. After studying the verbal interactions, we mapped out the conversations, determining which topics were most engaging and which ones less so.


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