Online dating a critical analysis from the perspective of psychological science


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Many online dating sites market their ability to offer online daters access to a huge number of potential partners. However, online profiles are a feeble substitute for face-to-face contact when it comes to the crucial task of assessing romantic chemistry.


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  • Furthermore, browsing through all those online profiles may overwhelm people or encourage them to treat their search more like shopping than mate-finding, which can lead singles to pass over potential partners who are actually well-suited to them. Finkel and his co-authors conclude that online dating is successful insofar as it rapidly helps singles meet potential partners in person, so that they can discover whether a romantic spark is there.

    The chats and messages people send through online dating sites may even help them to convey a positive initial impression, as long as people meet face-to-face relatively quickly. Given the potentially serious consequences of intervening in people's romantic lives, the authors hope that this report will push proprietors to build a more rigorous scientific foundation for online dating services.

    In a preface to the report, psychological scientist Arthur Aron at the State University of New York at Stony Brook recommends the creation of a panel that would grade the scientific credibility of each online dating site. For more information about this study, please contact: Eli J Finkel at finkel northwestern. It publishes an eclectic mix of thought-provoking articles on the latest important advances in psychology.

    For a copy of the article "Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science" and access to other Psychological Science in the Public Interest research findings, please contact Divya Menon at or dmenon psychologicalscience. Skip to main content The report card is in, and the online dating industry won't be putting this one on the fridge.

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    Although the authors find that online dating sites offer a distinctly different experience than conventional dating, the superiority of these sites is not as evident. Dating sites provide access to more potential partners than do traditional dating methods, but the act of browsing and comparing large numbers of profiles can lead individuals to commoditize potential partners and can reduce their willingness to commit to any one person.

    The Daily Northwestern

    Communicating online can foster intimacy and affection between strangers, but it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when potential partners meet in real life. As online dating matures, however, it is likely that more and more people will avail themselves of these services, and if development — and use — of these sites is guided by rigorous psychological science, they may become a more promising way for people to meet their perfect partners. Hear author Eli J.

    I agree wholeheartedly that so-called scientific dating sites are totally off-base.


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    • They make worse matches than just using a random site. They also have a very small pool of educated, older men, and lots more women. Therefore they often come up with no matches at all, despite the fact that women with many different personality types in that age group have joined. They are an expensive rip-off for many women over My mother and father had very few hobbies and interests in common, but because they shared the same core values, their love endured a lifetime.

      The Daily Northwestern

      I met a few potential love interests online and I never paid for any matching service! I did my own research on people and chatted online within a site to see if we had things in common. If that went well, we would have another date. I am currently with a man I met online and we have been together for two years! We have plans to marry in the future. I myself would probably start looking right away since looking for love online is a lengthy process!

      I knew this man 40 years ago as we worked in the same agency for two years but never dated. Last November I saw his profile on a dating site.

      Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science.

      My husband had died four years ago and his wife died 11 years ago. We dated for five months. I questioned him about his continued online search as I had access to his username. I think he has been on these dating sites for over 5 years.

      Citations per year

      Needless to say I will not tolerate this and it was over. No-one seems very interested in making an actual purchase or commitment. I notice that all the previous comments are from women only.