Yet we need not be passive victims of our circumstances.
Knowing how your environment influences your mind-set, a quality known as ecological rationality, can help you make the choices that are best for you.
A study in 2008 by Lenton and Barbara Fasolo of the London School of Economics and Political Science indicates that participants often misjudge how the number of options available to them will affect their feelings.
Participants presented with a broad array of potential partners more closely aligned with their anticipated ideal did not experience greater emotional satisfaction than when presented with fewer options.
AS A PSYCHOLOGIST, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating.
During a series of mini dates, each spanning no more than a couple of minutes, participants in a speed-dating event evaluate a succession of eligible singles.
Additionally, in speed-dating events where the characteristics of the daters varied much more, most participants did not follow up with any of their matches.
In spite of maxims about so many fish in the sea, for example, recent research tells us that the heart prefers a smaller pond.
They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.
The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world.
Very generally speaking, good looks and youthful vigor are indeed useful metrics for mating because they signal health.
Yet if lifelong love is what you are after, a smorgasbord of singles might propel you to make stereotypical selections.