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Online dating: Aim high, keep it brief, and be patient
He writes that for all their claims to being scientific, none of their tests have been subject to any serious peer review in a journal. Still, as more aspects of our lives go online, internet dating is expected to remain a growing phenomenon. Limelight is Mother's Milk for Celebs September 08, Celebrities score higher on a psychological test for narcissism than do the non-famous.
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The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites
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Of course, many of the people in these relationships would have met somebody offline, but some would still be single and searching. Indeed, the people who are most likely to benefit from online dating are precisely those who would find it difficult to meet others through more conventional methods, such as at work, through a hobby, or through a friend.
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Singles browse profiles when considering whether to join a given site, when considering whom to contact on the site, when turning back to the site after a bad date, and so forth. The answer is simple: A series of studies spearheaded by our co-author Paul Eastwick has shown that people lack insight regarding which characteristics in a potential partner will inspire or undermine their attraction to him or her see here , here , and here.
The straightforward solution to this problem is for online dating sites to provide singles with the profiles of only a handful of potential partners rather than the hundreds or thousands of profiles that many sites provide. But how should dating sites limit the pool?
The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites – Association for Psychological Science
Here we arrive at the second major weakness of online dating: These claims are not supported by any credible evidence. The first is that those very sites that tout their scientific bona fides have failed to provide a shred of evidence that would convince anybody with scientific training.
The second is that the weight of the scientific evidence suggests that the principles underlying current mathematical matching algorithms—similarity and complementarity—cannot achieve any notable level of success in fostering long-term romantic compatibility. It is not difficult to convince people unfamiliar with the scientific literature that a given person will, all else equal, be happier in a long-term relationship with a partner who is similar rather than dissimilar to them in terms of personality and values. Nor is it difficult to convince such people that opposites attract in certain crucial ways.
Indeed, a major meta-analytic review of the literature by Matthew Montoya and colleagues in demonstrates that the principles have virtually no impact on relationship quality.