The Science of Online Romance

Eli Finkel

Psychological scientist Eli Finkel believes  “we are witnessing the early stages of an explosion of research on romantic attraction.” Why the explosion? The Internet, that’s why.

Finkel is the lead author of “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science,” an upcoming issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI). The report explores whether online-dating services help or hinder people in their search for true love.

“Online dating is a terrific addition to the array of options available to singles seeking to meet potential romantic partners,” Finkel says. But online dating has downsides too,  especially “the absence of compelling scientific evidence supporting the validity of any matchmaking algorithm developed to date.”

Finkel will speak about the report at the 24th APS Annual Convention in Chicago. His talk will include a historical overview of online dating as well as a critique of the services provided by online dating sites.

If you can’t wait for Convention, APS will be posting a Twitter Q&A with Finkel in early February.

Observer Vol.25, No.2 February, 2012

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