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Do 20% of the men on dating apps get 80% of the dates? Is the Zoomer generation the sexless generation? What are the best predictors of relationship success? These are some of the questions Razib asks Alex of DatePsychology on this episode of Unsupervised Learning. A psychologist who studied cognitive and behavioral neuroscience in graduate school, Alex explores topics around dating on his YouTube channel and disseminates the latest research via his tweets (you can also subscribe to his newsletter). In a world where the “discourse” is filled with anecdotes and ideology, Alex’s modus operandi is to ask “what does the scientific literature say?”
Razib and Alex talk about various online subcultures, from incels to “pickup artists,” what they get right and wrong about dating culture and the impact of technology on long-standing dynamics, like the art of approaching women in public places like bars. Alex also discusses how the proliferation of dating apps has changed the dynamics of the online dating marketplace over the last 20 years. Razib probes him about the variables correlating with dating and compatibility, from looks to values to personality. Does intelligence matter in partner compatibility? They also discuss cross-cultural differences, and how urban dating markets differ from those in more rural locales. The online discourse is filled with individuals opining about dating and culture, but into this space of vapid assertion, Alex presents study after study of peer-reviewed research.