Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All the good ones are pre-screened

Adverse selection in marriage/mating/relationships refers to the fact that anyone willing to accept you as a partner probably has limited outside options (otherwise, they would find someone better). So you learn something negative about a person when they accept you as a partner.

Screening is a way to weed out low-quality partners. The trick is finding a variable that effectively separates the wheat from the chaff, like whether someone is already in a relationship.
The most striking result was in the responses of single women. Offered a single man, 59 per cent were interested in pursuing a relationship. But when he was attached, 90 per cent said they were up for the chase.
The authors speculate that single women may be attracted to attached men because they've already been "pre-screened" by other women and found to be satisfactory as a mate.

HT: Instapundit.


  1. As an MBA, I found there was a similar experience with internship recruiting that I hope to learn from for full-time this fall. Telling a firm that you had another offer made them much more interested. Of course, I also had recruiter ask me directly if their firm was my first choice (always say YES!). Everyone wants to feel special I guess. The similarities of recruiting to dating are numerous: waiting by the phone, awkward first-date interviews, dressing up, etc.

  2. Nice comment. If any of my current students read this far, there is some chance I will turn David's comment into an exam question.

    I also hope my wife doesn't read this blog.