In autumnPeter Lake filled out a survey that changed the course of his life. Lake, who now works in real estate in Marblehead Massachusetts, signed up to Operation Match, a computer dating service started by three Harvard undergraduates and one Cornell University dropout. They would give you as many as you got, but at least - or they would give you your money back.
With the exception of one woman who lived too far away in Maine, he met all of the women, marrying the eleventh. She and I talked on the phone a few times and then we had some coffee and I just fell in love her then. We started dating immediately. While many sites allow people to freely roam through lists of potential mates, niche services promise to match you with that special someone. The punch card technology that united Peter Lake with his future wife has been replaced by patented online personality tests devised by psychologists and anthropologists.
He and his team undertake continuous research of couples in eharmony dating site nz, long-term relationships to find out the shared personality characteristics and values that best predict successful relationships. Not everyone is sold on the science. In a recent issue of the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of five psychologists pour cold water eharmony dating site nz the scientific claims of eHarmony and similar sites like Match.
They also question whether their algorithms are effective at eharmony dating site nz matching people or whether they just exclude unsuitable suitors. They also suggest that "selection bias" - a statistical bias that occurs when your sample population is different from the norm - may be at work. The reasoning is that people who use matching sites are different from the average Joe or Jill. For starters, they're likely to have a higher disposable income and, given that they sit through a question survey, more highly motivated than the average dater.
The claimed success of matching sites may have more to do with narrowing the pool of eligible daters, rather than psychological tests or computer science. Eharmony dating site nz a very different promise that they cannot fulfill," says Eastwick. That's not to say that Eastwick and list of holland dating sites co-authors are saying that the algorithms have no effect whatsoever. On the contrary, they suggest that the algorithms may exert all kinds of influences on the dateless - just not the ones advertised eharmony dating site nz online matching services.
For example, Eastwick and his colleagues argue that there may be a placebo effect at work. Just as placebos work because of the aura of authority around the person prescribing the "drug", rather than its inherent medicinal value, so online matching services may work because the couple believe their coupling has been validated by relationship experts using complex computer science.
As the authors of the paper write "having a purportedly authoritative source claim to use science to select putatively ideal or highly compatible matches could predispose people to be more accepting of these matches, at least initially, than they eharmony dating site nz otherwise be. That's still an open question. We've taken what we can discover about personality and values and how those similarities predict relationship success," he says.
We've done years of research with thousands of couples to empirically come up with our algorithm. It's quite another thing to say that you have successfully transferred the findings eharmony dating site nz those studies into software that can successfully match people with their romantic ideal. Gonzaga does say that the algorithm has its blindspots, especially if your survey responses are overly nuanced. For example, if you reply that you're an extrovert in some situations and an introvert in others, it may eharmony dating site nz that you're too complex for the algorithm to figure you out.
The system just breaks down. It can empower you to make those decisions. Peter Lake and his wife, two of computer matching's first success stories, divorced after 11 years of marriage, although they remain in contact. Lake has returned to computer dating since, using both Match. It's an hour and a quarter away and I thought, God, this is just too far with my advanced age," says Lake. Why online dating goes wrong Christopher Scanlon
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