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They may have stumbled upon this strategy through trial and error because “in all four cities, men experience slightly lower reply rates when they write more positively worded messages.”- Almost no one messages users desirable than they are.

Most people seem to know their position on the hierarchy because they most contact people who rank the same.

“The most common behavior for both men and women is to contact members of the opposite sex who on average have roughly the same ranking as themselves,” Bruch and her colleagues write.

desirable than themselves on average—and hardly any users contact partners who are significantly less desirable.”- Your online-dating experience is not as bad as this poor woman’s in New York.“The most popular individual in our four cities, a 30-year-old woman living in New York, received 1504 messages during the period of observation,” the study says.

It’s not just that older men are considered most desirable in New York.“New York is a special case for men,” Bruch told me.

And Bruch emphasized that the hierarchy did not just depend on race, age, and education level: Because it is derived from user behavior, it “captures whatever traits people are responding to when they pursue partners.They looked only at four metro areas—New York, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle—and only at messages from January 2014. Your specific desirability rank would have been generated by two figures: whether other desirable people contacted you, and whether other desirable people responded when you contacted them.If you contacted a much less desirable person, their desirability score would rise; if they contacted you then your score would fall.But “women reply very selectively to the messages they receive from men—their average reply rate is less than 20 percent—so women’s replies …can give us significant insight about who they are interested in.”The team combined all that data by using the Page Rank algorithm, the same software that helps inform Google’s search results.

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