The Economist on Online Dating Efficacy

According to a new paper from Northwestern University as discussed in The Economist’s article, “The Modern Matchmakers,” a couple of things that I’ve theorized are now backed up by research:

  • The volume of online and speed dating can make people focus too much on physical attributes rather than on what really matters in a long-term relationship.
  • The online services appear to use people’s self-declared wants to match them to potential partners.  This approach is faulty because data from speed dating show that people’s stated preferences prior to the process do not match the characteristics of those they actually choose.
So other than using the online sites as a marketplace for single people, buyers beware of any online dating service’s inflated claim that their algorithm will magically select the right people with whom you would want to share a lifetime (or for that matter, a couple of hours.)

 / 2 Comments  / in Dating, Long-term relationship


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