Online Learning Module Explores What Data Can Teach Us About Love and Attraction

Just in time for Valentine's Day, ICPSR's Resources for Instructors announces the release of a new Data-Driven Learning Guide, "Is Love Really Blind?" DDLGs are designed by teaching faculty to help build data literacy in undergraduate classrooms.

Modern Westerners brought up on a diet of popular songs and romantic movies tend to believe that interpersonal attraction and mate selection are both random and very subjective. Popular culture propagates the notion of "love at first sight" and teaches us that "love is blind," "love just happens," and "you can't help who you fall in love with." Research shows, however, that society aims Cupid's arrow more than we like to think: We tend to be attracted to, and to marry, people who are close to us in age, racial/ethnic and religious backgrounds, education level, political views, and social status. This is known in sociology as homogamy, or the tendency of like to marry like.

This DDLG helps students explore factors that influence the development of romantic relationships, using crosstabulations and comparison of means.

About DDLGs
They are set up as online lesson plans ready to be used in undergraduate classrooms. Each contains a description and examples of the focal concept, the data needed for empirical application using basic statistical techniques, a guide to interpretation, and a summary of the exercise. DDLGs are provided under a Creative Commons (attribution) License.

ICPSR's ever-expanding library of instructional resources now offers 52 DDLGs covering a broad range of social science topics. 

Some recent and/or popular releases include:

We appreciate any feedback or suggestions for new learning guide topics.

Questions or comments? Email Resources for Instructors at or call 734-615-5653.

Feb 13, 2014

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