The profiles indicated whether the person shared the subject’s politics.
They found people were more likely to express interest in profiles of people with similar political beliefs.
However, it’s one thing to say who you were interested in and another to act on it. The collected data from a large online dating site and analyzed how often people engaged through messaging one another.
After controlling for other attributes, they found pairings (where a man messaged a woman and she replied) are about 10% more similar in political beliefs than would be expected.
The former is called "homophily" - we are drawn to make social connections with people similar to ourselves.
Is there a way to observe people before they get together and see if politics plays a role?
In the lab study, 1,000 participants filled out the survey with their own information including their political preferences.
Then, the researchers showed them a variety of different profiles designed to control for other factors and test whether people were more interested in partners with similar political ideologies.
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