The promise is that there is a scientific method of systematizing all the mystery and happenstance of human attraction.
“No one was interested in working with us,” said Finkel.Sites such as e Harmony and Chemistry.com, Finkel said, are the worst offenders because they specifically claim to use science — in this case, personality tests — to help daters find their mate.“EHarmony is making claims that their algorithm can find your soul mate, and there is little scientific reason to believe that’s true.” (And, if their algorithm is so perfect, he added, why introduce personalized matchmaking services, as the company did in 2013 with e H .) Some disagreement Christian Rudder, a founder of Ok Cupid and the site’s resident data geek, quibbles with Finkel’s characterization of most dating sites. I don’t know how those dates go.” (His site goes a step further, however, advertising its “matching algorithm helps you find the right people.”) Finkel and his colleagues’ point is that there is no evidence any algorithm can pair you with a partner who is anything more than marginally better than a random pairing.“There is always going to be some set of variables that work,” he said.“That is a classic flaw of bad science.”) Finkel is fan of Tinder, because it does a good job of solving what he refers to as dating’s “easy problem” — getting daters more dates — without pretending that it does anything else.Ok Cupid’s patent-pending matching algorithm is based on questions users answer ranging from the sexual to the political (and even the grammatical).
Each question has three variables — a user’s answer, the answer they’d like a match to give and how important the answer is to them.
“There is one fundamental problem with all of these algorithms,” said Eli Finkel, a psychologist at Northwestern University who studies relationships.
“They have set themselves up with an impossible task: They assume that they can take information from two people who are totally unaware of each other’s existence and determine whether they are compatible.
And people are terrible at figuring out what they actually want in the first place.
Studies of speed dating have shown that the people daters reported interest in frequent don’t actually fit with their outline of an ideal match.
“By suggesting that compatibility can be established from a relatively small bank of trait-based information about a person — whether by a matchmaker’s algorithm or by the users’ own glance at a profile — online dating sites may be supporting an ideology of compatibility that decades of scientific research suggests is false,” the researchers wrote.