We remain hopeful that matching sites will ultimately rise to the challenge, both by conducting and publishing the appropriate studies and by drawing upon current relationship science to improve their methods. In fairness, more and more online dating site are using matching tools.The readers of Science of Relationships should be disappointed until those with the resources to make an actual difference in people’s romantic lives demonstrate some bona fide vision. And on the other hand, it is up to the single person how he/she would use the site in finding his/her soulmate or to empower his/her relationship.
Effectiveness of online dating sites
That is, what would it take to convince skeptics like us that the use of an algorithm improves people’s chances of forming and maintaining a satisfying relationship relative to traditional offline ways of meeting a romantic partner?
The tool that would illuminate the modern-day love drug is actually the very same tool used to evaluate the efficacy of all drugs and interventions: .
All of them complete the e Perfect matching algorithm questionnaire.
The participants in the periodically receive lists of matches produced by the e Perfect algorithm.
In fact, there is an endless list of possible differences between people who self-select into a site like e Perfect and people who do not.
The solution to this problem is simple: Some participants who sign up for the study are randomly assigned to the algorithm condition, whereas others are randomly assigned to a wait-list control group.
Now, the potions come in the form of my colleagues and I have expressed serious doubts that these algorithms are effective.
To the extent that we can ascertain the workings of these mysterious algorithms (which have not been disclosed to the scientific community), they appear to rely on principles (e.g., similarity and complementarity) that have very small effects on relationship well-being.
Below, we describe a set of hypothetical experimental conditions that would provide compelling evidence in support of a fictitious site’s matching algorithm (e Perfect Chemistry.com).