The report card is in, and the online dating industry won’t be putting this one on the fridge. A new scientific report concludes that although online dating offers users some very real benefits, it falls far short of its potential.
Unheard of just twenty years ago, online dating is now a billion dollar industry and one of the most common ways for singles to meet potential partners. Many websites claim that they can help you find your “soulmate.” But do these online dating services live up to all the hype?
CBS News interviewed Eli Finkel of Northwestern University, a coauthor of the Psychological Science in the Public Interest article “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science.”
“To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works,” Finkel told CBS. “If dating sites want to claim that their matching algorithm is scientifically valid, they need to adhere to the standards of science, which is something they have uniformly failed to do. In fact, our report concludes that it is unlikely that their algorithms can work, even in principle, given the limitations of the sorts of matching procedures that these sites use.”
So what should daters do? Read more in the article Online dating full of downsides, study shows: What should daters do?
Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P.W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H.T., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13 (1).