This article folds in millions of person-to-person interactions, what one human being thinks of another. So much data on race gives you people vs. The color is there to make the big trends easy to see.
In some ways, no. OkCupid users are certainly no more open-minded than they used to be. If anything, racial bias has intensified a bit. Here are the numbers for till now — view each graph below to move through time. These numbers reflect different people year-to-year. Together the charts fold in data from some 25 million accounts.
One interesting thing is to compare what you see above with what those same users have told us about their racial attitudes. Answers to match questions have been getting significantly less biased over time: And yet the underlying behavior has stayed the same. You can use other online data to see this split personality play out elsewhere. The night Obama was first elected was a moment of catharsis.
It really felt like something had changed about the way America perceived and thought about race, and for at least that brief moment, the nation appeared united. No less than Karl Rove captured the moment well: Anyhow, whenever I talk about this data or the race data in my book, Dataclysm a few questions always seem to come up.
Are people on OkCupid just racist? I mean, not any more than anywhere else. For example, below are the numbers from DateHookup, a site that we acquired a few years ago but that still operates independently.
DateHookup has a distinct userbase, a distinct user acquisition model, a distinct interface, yet their data reflects the same basic biases: Other sites in our portfolio, with still different demographics and business models, show the same attraction patterns.
Is it possible that some small number of users is throwing off the averages? All this data is from a dating site.
What does that have to do with my life? There are many situations that might not be explicitly romantic, but are nonetheless a lot like a first date. Trying to rent an apartment. When you meet your freshman roommates. And science has long known that bonuses accrue to beautiful people: Beauty is a cultural idea as much as a physical one, and the standard is of course set by the dominant culture.
In fact it goes a long way towards undoing any bias against you. So, yes, this is all just dating data, but it shows who and what we define as beautiful.
Written by Christian Rudder.