Online daters take only one second to decide on a potential partner, according to new research.
But upon meeting their match, it takes singletons 42 minutes on average to decide if they want a second date.
The research, carried out by cognitive psychologists at the Universities of Lincoln and Swansea, of nearly 1,000 online daters, found that at least one full second of viewing a person’s profile was needed to make a decision.
If the view time was limited to less than one second, the user was less likely to match with a prospective partner, the experts found.
To understand the decision-making processes of daters, real life dating app situations were recreated in an experimental setting and a total of 898 participants – split into groups of 200 – viewed mocked-up dating profiles with basic information visible – photo, age, and name.
First, the researchers gave the users unlimited viewing time of the profiles, and timed how long it took them to make a decision on a potential suitor.
They then reduced the viewing time until they found it did not differ from the results from the unlimited time experiment – only taking users around one second to make a decision.
The researchers, who carried out the study to academic standards for the online dating platform eharmony, also conducted experiments to assess the most important factors and deal-breakers for daters.
Initially, participants were shown a dating profile with relevant deal-breakers visible, such as smoking status, and then they were shown another profile with this information removed.
Appearance-based factors came out on top as the biggest considerations, such as age (65 per cent), weight (54 per cent), and height (46 per cent).
When split by gender, the biggest turn-off for men in a partner was smoking, with 65 per cent opting for non-smokers.
And around two thirds of women (67 per cent) selected location as their key priority.
The researchers also found a partner who wants a pet is an even bigger draw for women than a partner who wants a child (42 per cent versus 39 per cent).
Dr Robin Kramer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Lincoln, said: “Though nuanced, at the core, the research suggests Brits like to make informed decisions – the more information they have – the better they can judge potential compatibility.”