The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites

Scientific American:

Every day, millions of single adults, worldwide, visit an online dating site. Many are lucky, finding life-long love or at least some exciting escapades. Others are not so lucky. The industry—eHarmony, Match, OkCupid, and a thousand other online dating sites—wants singles and the general public to believe that seeking a partner through their site is not just an alternative way to traditional venues for finding a partner, but a superior way. Is it?

With our colleagues Paul Eastwick, Benjamin Karney, and Harry Reis, we recently published a book-length article in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest that examines this question and evaluates online dating from a scientific perspective. One of our conclusions is that the advent and popularity of online dating are terrific developments for singles, especially insofar as they allow singles to meet potential partners they otherwise wouldn’t have met. We also conclude, however, that online dating is not better than conventional offline dating in most respects, and that it is worse is some respects.

Read the whole story: Scientific American

Comments

Social Worker, specialize in couples. Follow Attachment Theory childhood influence on adult relationships. Generally there are four attachment styles that dominate. Secure go with secure. Chaotic go with chaotic. Distant go with near. Near with distant. Literature about this differs in the question do opposites or similar attract. I believe this is because the type of person studied is not identified in these four categories. Also, the degree of difference from troubled to fairly healthy is not identified in the near/far group. Fairly troubled can be close to secure. I do not see a random sample, and so see mostly near/far types. I guess that 2/3 of my clients split up and 1/3 become much more secure. Probably the telling factor is the willingness to confront “real” issues, and the degree of fear carried over from childhood. (That is, if interactive problems are resolved, often the potential success activates the fears from the childhood attachment that caused the near/far attachment style in the first place.) I doubt algorithms cope well with this construction. Be curious if there is any scientific literature on this.

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