London, Nov 13 : Forget chat up lines if you are looking for love at a speed-dating event, for the big groups are all about looks and not personality, claim scientists.
Boffins have found that the bigger the group of potential mates to choose from the more likely individuals are to make a decision based on looks and sex appeal alone - because their mind blanks at the choice and they revert to basic instincts - that's what scientists believe.
In primates and birds, the larger the group, the better the chance that non-dominant individuals have of being chosen as a mate, reports New Scientist.
Alison Lenton at the University of Edinburgh, and her team looked at whether this is true for people too.
Speed-daters race through a series of "mini dates" of about 5 minutes then invite whoever catches their fancy to get in touch again later.
To reach the conclusion, Lenton and her team studied 118 sessions with groups of between seven and 36 people, and found to their surprise that as the size of the group grew, the offers became skewed towards just a few individuals, while the least popular ended up with fewer or no offers.
The study has been published in the journal Animal Behaviour.
So why do humans seem to differ from other animals? In smaller groups, says Lenton, people trade off different qualities in prospective mates - physical attractiveness for intelligence, for example. Faced with too much choice, however, people resort to crude approaches such as choosing solely on looks.