This has nothing to do with the business of online dating. In fact, this is the farthest thing I’ve ever seen from what we perceive as the human experience of online dating. This is about love.
Online dating isn’t about love. If anything, its about hope. Online dating is looking at profiles, sending messages and by some twist of fate potentially ending up with your life partner, or a partner for just one night.
Psychologists, behavioral scientists, scientists. Everyone has their theories about love, about what constitutes a loving relationship.
Someone sent me a list of hundreds of research papers about relationship compatibility. I’ve read a few studies, and it all just seems so artificial and “in the labs” and not reality. We looked at a bunch of people, and these are the indicators and factors we think lead to long term relationships. And the next paper says something totally the opposite.
The people doing Big Research never seem to write papers, or show up at conferences, or share their research in any meaningful way. Well some do, but nearly enough. Dr Helen Fisher lent her name and expertise to chemistry.com. She, along with other researchers, have been sticking people into Fast MRI machines for years, trying to see what love looks like in our brains. Here’s Helen’s TED talk from 2008, The Brain In Love.
Smart people telling us about what they are learning about relationships is a good start, but how does that translate into the algorithms that will ultimately define our collective fates?
This isn’t about psychological evaluations, personalty tests, hundreds of questions, quizzes, behavioral matching and the rest of it. This is a short film about how some researchers are going right to the heart, er, brain, of the matter of love.
Watch The Love Competition and find out how researchers track activity in the area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens.
Contestants have five minutes in an fMRI machine to love someone as hard as they can. Ready, set, go!