Online dating might be the future of romance, but it still has its fair share of detractors. Including a pair of UCLA professors, who think that eHarmony — a dating site which prides itself on its scientific approach — is duping its users.
LA Weekly reports that Benjamin Karney and Thomas Bradbury, a pair of scientists that research relationships, have spoken out against eHarmony. The site, of course, claims that it is “scientifically proven to predict happier, healthier long-term relationships”. The pair of scientists have problems with that claim. Karney said to LA Weekly:
“They say, ‘We will find your soulmate for you.’ That’s a pretty drastic claim. As opposed to what they’re really doing, which is, ‘We’ve screened out the freaks.’ That could be their tagline — eHarmony: No freaks here.”
But as it stands, that’s not how eHarmony sells itself. In turn, the researchers believe people aren’t getting a fair deal. Bradbury explains:
“You do know that the American public has gotten hoodwinked since there was a product to be sold… The risks associated with the badness of these instruments and these devices in these sites have no long-term cost; it’s just money out of someone’s pocket. People are getting duped…”
The problem boils down to the fact that, however eHarmony attempts to match people up using algorithms, it just doesn’t work very well. Predictors of long-term relationship happiness are difficult to quantify, especially using information available to a dating website.
So, while online dating sites might provide a means of meeting new people — which is great! — don’t believe their scientific hype. [LA Weekly]
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