A Match Made in the Code

The New York Times:

New Orleans — In the quest to find true love, is filling out a questionnaire on a Web site any more scientific than praying to St. Valentine?

Yes, according to psychologists at eHarmony, an online company that claims its computerized algorithms will help match you with a “soul mate.” But this claim was criticized in a psychology journal last year by a team of academic researchers, who concluded that “no compelling evidence supports matching sites’ claims that mathematical algorithms work.”

In response, eHarmony’s senior research scientist, Gian C. Gonzaga, went into the academic lions’ den known as S.P.S.P. — the big annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, held recently in New Orleans. Armed with a PowerPoint presentation, Dr. Gonzaga faced a packed hall of researchers eager for a peek at eHarmony’s secrets.

Not so fast, replied the critics in the hall. They didn’t doubt that factors like agreeableness could predict a good marriage. But that didn’t mean eHarmony had found the secret to matchmaking, said Harry T. Reis of the University of Rochester, one of the authors of last year’s critique.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

 

See Eli J. Finkel at the 25th APS Annual Convention.

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