Dr. Eli Finkel had appeared at the recent CNBC’s “Love at First Byte: The Secret Science of Online Dating” documentary. He co authored the paper “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science”
Online dating sites frequently claim that they have fundamentally altered the dating landscape for the better. This article employs psychological science to examine
(a) whether online dating is fundamentally different from conventional offline dating
(b) whether online dating promotes better romantic outcomes than conventional offline dating.
The answer to the first question (uniqueness) is yes, and the answer to the second question (superiority) is yes and no.
To understand how online dating fundamentally differs from conventional offline dating and the circumstances under which online dating promotes better romantic outcomes than conventional offline dating, we consider the three major services online dating sites offer: access, communication, and matching
The past 15 to 20 years have witnessed the development of Web-based companies that specialize in providing some combination of:
a. access to potential romantic partners
b. communication with potential romantic partners
c. matching with compatible romantic partners.
Although matching has existed for millennia, basing matching decisions upon scientific principles and sophisticated mathematical algorithms is a 21st-century innovation.
We illustrate algorithm-based matching by providing an indepth analysis of the approaches taken by three prominent sites that claim their matching process is scientific: eHarmony, PerfectMatch, and Chemistry. Our examples draw most heavily from eHarmony, which is in a league of its own because (a) it was the first of the new generation of matching sites to employ claims of scientific validity; (b) it has the greatest media presence, with television advertisements, other forms of media, and Internet blogs highlighting its matching system; and (c) it has patented its matching system.
Regarding matching, no compelling evidence supports matching sites’ claims that mathematical algorithms work, that they foster romantic outcomes that are superior to those fostered by other means of pairing partners.
The writer and journalist Lori Gottlieb (March 2006) noted about the growing number of Internet dating sites that are using the science of attraction to match singles: “their efforts mark the early days of a social experiment of unprecedented proportions, involving millions of couples and possibly extending over the course of generations”. I agreed and said: The entire Online Dating Industry for serious daters in 1st World Countries is a HOAX, performing as a Big Online Casino, with low successful rates.
The Online Dating Industry is performing like the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Industry before the USA Food and Drug Administration was created. The Online Dating Industry is selling elixirs, tonics, snake oil liniments and other patent medicine.
Now in 2012 I think C-Level executives from the Online Dating Industry do not want to innovate and offer a high effective/efficiency compatibility matching algorithm because they are burglars who are stealing the money of the daters, they scam daters with automatic rebilling trickery.