Whenever I talk to my students about speed dating, they appear to be judgmental and critical (as most of my students are of nontraditional dating methods, including online dating—a topic we’ll discuss in another blog).But, the value of speed dating lies in its efficiency.Dating is stressful—it takes us out of comfort zone and throws us into a situation with a new person. Now imagine a situation that throws these feelings into hyper speed—namely, speed dating.We do not know how the date will go, what the topics of conversation will be, and how the date will end (Breakfast? In a typical speed dating event, single adults go on 8-12 dates in an evening that each last about 8 minutes.The real benefit of speed dating, though, is similar to that of online dating: you and your date share the same goal.Aristotle argued that communication is goal oriented, and findings from Mongeau indicate that individuals go on dates with goal(s) in mind.
So, you’re now probably thinking how you can work to make an accurate first impression on a speed date?
Research indicates that brief impressions are lasting impressions.
Consider the programmatic work on thin slicing by Ambady, made popular in Gladwell’s Blink.
A thin slice involves brief exposure, typically less than 30 seconds, to behavior.
Studies indicate that judgments made by strangers based on thin slices are consistent with evaluations of individuals who are familiar with the stranger.