Men prefer gazing at pics while women read online dating profile

Men spend far more time looking at photographs rather than reading the online profile on dating sites, a new study has revealed.

On the other hand, women give more importance to reading the profile and pay less attention to the pictures. AnswerLab, a consumer research company, conducted the study in one day at a coffee shop in San Francisco, California.

The study asked 39 patrons who identified themselves as interested in dating the opposite sex to take part in the study, the Discovery News reported. Participants including 18 women and 21 men, looked at dating profiles from and on a laptop. The results showed that men spend 65 percent more time looking at photos than women.

Women, on the other hand, spent 50 percent more time than men on actually reading the profiles. The researchers collected data using the Tobii X1 Light Eye Tracker, a new, portable model of eye tracker. The device works by shining an infrared light at the eye, creating reflections, which are, in turn, recorded by a camera.

Using the recorded pattern of reflections, the program calculates the angle between the cornea and pupil, which is used to calculate the angle of the gaze. Combining the angle of the gaze and the distance between the eyes and the screen leads to accurate tracking of the eye's movements.

Although people might not know it, our eyes are constantly moving, making quick adjustments to take in details. Only the very small, central portion of the eye, called the fovea, is capable of really seeing details. And as you look at something complicated, like a dating profile, with different text elements, photos and advertisements, your eyes make rapid movements so the fovea can briefly focus on each of the different elements that catch your eye's attention. Each tiny focusing event is called a fixation.

Because the eyes make this tiny movement when we study objects or read, the eye-tracking systems is able to figure out what we looked at, precisely, and for how long.

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