If there is a match, contact information is then forwarded to both parties.

Rules generally do not permit contact information to be traded during the initial meeting, in order to reduce pressure, especially on women, to accept or reject a potential suitor to their face.

It may not come as a surprise to learn that they also found that women preferred men who were young and tall, while men were more attracted to women who were young and thin.

Almost always it is the male that moves, while the women remain at the same table throughout the entire process.

When the entire event is completed, usually no longer than two hours in all, participants submit to the organisers a list of those to whom they are happy to provide their contact details.

Curiously, men found no value and are indeed turned off if they perceive that a women's intelligence or ambition exceeds their own.

Research by University of Essex scientists (Belot and Francesoni, 2006) of the choices made by 1800 men and 1800 women at 84 speed dating events concluded that for every one inch taller a man is than his speed-dating rivals, the number of women who wanted to meet him went up by about 5%.

ABSTRACTSpeed dating has become big business as the new alternative on the dating scene compared to meeting in bars, attending social events or using online dating services.

In achieving its aim the results have been quite successful with reports that half of all participants come away with at least one promising match.

There is of course nothing to stop someone registering with several speed dating operations and in doing so it would not be surprising if they happened to run into the same participants. PREVIOUS FINDINGSMany speed dating events generally specify an age range for both men and women with a leeway for slightly older males.

There can also be special niche events such as evenings for graduates only, gays and lesbians, older men with younger women and vice versa, movie lovers, ethnic events or similar religious affiliation.

"Other findings from speed dating (Fisman, Iyengar, Kamenica and Simonsen, 2006) revealed that women showed a preference for men who grew up in affluent neighbourhoods.