The American Mensa society has hooked up with Match.com to create a new dating service designed for super smart people. (All others: Keep Out!)
“People join Mensa for many reasons, and if this is your reason, go ahead and take the next step,” states the American Mensa website. Only people with IQs in the 98th percentile or higher can participate in the service, dubbed "Mensa Match," so if you don’t know where you stand, the synergistic business partnership will be happy to provide a standardized test. Meanwhile, if you already hold memberships in both Match.com and Mensa, you will be able to pin a special "Mensa badge" to your online profile, signaling your interest in hooking up with someone who has an equally high and equally validated IQ score. Woohoo!
"Eighty percent of singles rate intelligence as one of the most important factors when looking for a partner, finally proving that brainpower is the ultimate aphrodisiac," Match.com President Amarnath Thombre told ABC News. One positive outcome to this partnership is everyone, including those without the mental credentials, may receive some bona fide scientific data about falling in love.
According to Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who serves as chief scientific adviser for Match.com — who'da thunk Match.com was so classy, am I right? — three specific traits are linked with long-term relationship happiness: positive illusion, empathy for the other person, and the ability to control your own emotions. In her special interview with American Mensa, she describes the study in which she found and verified these specific traits. “We put people into the brain scanner in China and then we went back, four years later, to find out who was still in love,” she said. By using questionnaires and an fMRI, she and her research partners noted how in-love romantics showed greater activity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region linked with positive illusions (focusing on the good and ignoring anything you dislike about your partner); the mirror neurons, a brain region linked with empathy; and several brain regions linked with the ability to control emotion.
Yet, she also has found, “when you fall in love with somebody, brain regions labeled ‘decision making’ begin to shut down,” and this is the reason, she suggests, people may fall in love with what your ordinary self might label the wrong person: the married guy, say, or the pregnant woman living with her boyfriend. She draws her conclusions about the lovelorn from her annual study, “Singles in America.”
However, what surprised her most were the answers she received to the ageless question, “What do you judge a person by?” She provided a lot of boxes for people to check, including a person’s hair, the car they drive, the technology they use, and then encouraged them to respond with their true, “right off the bat” appraisal of someone new. “Both years, a huge number of both men and women [noted they] judge somebody, foremost, by their teeth and their grammar,” she said. Let that be a lesson to us all.