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The purpose of the study was to achieve an accelerated sense of intimacy between strangers in only 45 minutes.Students in a university psychology class were partnered up and instructed to ask each other 36 questions designed to probe intimate and unguarded topics of conversation.That’s what brought her to the Venngage headquarters on a Wednesday evening in January. A study with the potential for love at the end of it. Surprisingly, the very thing she had decided not to do anymore–talk to a stranger she was matched with online with the purpose of falling in love. She was going to use a “love hack” to make a connection. The article presented a quiz comprised of 36 questions that supposedly lead to love–or, at least, an accelerated feeling of intimacy between strangers.The idea was that if you sat down with a perfect stranger and exchanged these 36 questions, you would have shared enough intimate information with them to create a feeling of closeness in just one conversation.She had read about the exercise last year and was intrigued by our spin on it–it sounded exciting.In her romantic history, the more she liked a partner’s personality, the more attractive she found them.Three chances to give it a shot before she made a judgement about whether or not she liked online dating. Rather than meeting good matches, she found herself with people she would never have decided to go out with if she had met them in person first, because they had nothing in common. Something about the context of online dating platforms just didn’t click with her.What’s more, the amount of inappropriate and sometimes downright degrading messages she would get from guys was enough to turn her off dating services. The context felt too much like you were selling yourself to strangers. She decided to adopt a “just say yes” attitude–now, when opportunities for exciting and unusual experiences arose in real life, she would throw herself in head-first, just so see what happens.
We sent them a preliminary questionnaire asking for their name, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and profession, as well as a number of attitudinal questions like whether or not they drink or smoke, their level of spontaneity, etc.
Then we decided to raise the stakes: what if participants didn’t even know what their partner looked like? All of these services that use algorithms to match people up can be considered take a hacking approach to romance.
But all of these apps rely fairly heavily on the profile pictures people use.
Please refrain from looking around at other participants to figure out who your partner is–we want to keep it anonymous until the end of the conversation period.
At the end of the conversation period, you will have the option of exchanging contact information with your partner over text chat.