The Mathematics of Love

coffee-hearts-photo-attributed-to-peter-burka
Photo by Peter Burka.

In this fascinating TED talk by Hannah Fry, the speaker describes three mathematical algorithms that explain love.  One of her findings was that the number of romantic advances someone receives is improved if there are polarized views of whether they are attractive.  That is, you will approach someone if you think that many people other than you will think they are unattractive.  How would we apply this to human resources?  I would point out that the Oakland Athletics baseball team was successful at snapping-up rookies that they knew were great and everyone else had passed over.  Using better metrics, the team found high-performers who seemed wrong, but were factually very good.  In many cases the Oakland A’s got first dibs on diamonds-in-the-rough.  Can you apply this insight to your own workplace?

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