“At the end of the day, similarity predicts very, very little,” Finkel says.
Social scientists have confirmed what most singletons have known for years: Online dating is a crapshoot. But the sites also reduce daters into two-dimensional profiles and often overwhelms them with potential choices. It gives opportunities to singles who otherwise wouldn’t have them,” says Eli J.
A new analysis of 400 academic studies explores whether online dating represents a dramatic shift in the way people seek mates (it does) and whether it is ultimately a good thing for daters (eh . Some sites claim to have developed scientific algorithms that can help people find soul mates, an assertion the study’s five authors say is not possible and could be damaging. Finkel, an associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University and the study’s lead author.
But the bigger problem is that no profile can transmit the full essence of a human being.
“You get people online who think they know what they want in a partner, but that’s not going to dovetail with what actually inspires their attraction when they meet a flesh-and-blood person,” Finkel says.
Others, such as Chemistry, use complementary personality facets to set up singles.
The study found that none of these factors can be predictive of long-term relationship success.
Similarly, the report says, “people become cognitively overwhelmed” as they scan dozens of profiles.
“You end up a bit less satisfied with the thing you choose — like your chocolate or romantic partner.
” But the process doesn’t necessarily help form strong relationships.
Browsing through profile after profile “can result in the objectification of potential partners,” the study says.
And you’re less likely to commit to that option,” Finkel says.