Cosmopolitan experiment suspect at best

Tinder is a mobile application where people create profiles and find users within gender, age and geographic preferences. If both parties agree to get to know the person they see in the pictures, the app allows them to message each other.

Cosmopolitan decided, in the name of research, to create a pair of videos on Tinder dates gone wrong and posted them last week.

In the videos, a subject — one female, one male — created a Tinder profile showing photos of a very athletic, toned person. Each chatted for a few weeks with mutual attractions and set up informal coffee dates. Prior to the date, the actor went into the makeup department and came out looking like a much heavier version of themselves (think Eddie Murphy in “The Nutty Professor”).

The men who arrived instantly questioned the girl on her appearance. One man said he was married and left. Another needed to make a phone call and never returned. Another said, “I really don’t appreciate people lying to me,” and left.

When the women showed up for the date, they were taken aback a little, but stuck around. They accepted offers for second dates, and one gave him a kiss.

And so the conclusion was reached on social media — men are pigs, women are great for giving this guy a chance.

I had a few problems with the experiment itself, and I encourage you to watch both videos and see what findings you reach.

• The male and female subjects had different demeanors and conversation topics.

In both videos, the subjects acknowledge their profile photos were older. But the male said his were, “Two or three years ago,” and she said, “Maybe six months.”  One of those answers is more believable, and is less likely to lead the dater’s mind to the obvious question: If I’m being lied to about this clearly verifiable thing, what else are they being dishonest about?

The male in the video talked about dancing, dogs and the childishly fun game of thumb war. The female talked about her shade of lipstick, and baited the men to respond about her appearance by noting, “You look JUST like your photos,” and, “You seem uncomfortable.”

• We don’t know what was discussed on the Tinder app in the month before the meetup. Did the conversations steer toward physical features, or away? We also don’t know how Cosmopolitan picked the males and females it did for the dates.

• “Well, the women agreed to followup dates, so that makes them better.” Allow me to bring up an old “Seinfeld” episode when Jerry finds out the rental car he reserved isn’t available.

“I don’t think you (understand the reservation process). If you did, I’d have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.”

Showing up for a date is the most important part. Anybody can agree to one. The study should have extended to give a resolution on those second dates — whether they happened as planned, or the girl had something suspiciously come up.

I’ll concede men are pigs, and I’m on board with women being great. I have no issues with either of those findings.

I just distrust the path that got us there: A study from a for-profit business says, “Let’s lie and see what happens,” gives us no other data and reaches a conclusion complimenting the people most likely to buy its product.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 575-763-3431, ext. 318, or by email:
kwilson@cnjonline.com