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e Harmony, the second-biggest dating site, carries out scientific studies to improve its algorithms.
But can love really be found by crunching numbers in a computer?
Then along came online dating, which suggested a less mystical view of the matchmaking process.
Dating sites offer the lovelorn access to millions of singles just a few clicks away, plus proprietary algorithms to help narrow the field to a shortlist of candidates for the ideal mate.
But popular as such sites may be, finding your ideal match online can take a lot of time, as traditional dating sites force users to read dozens or even hundreds of profiles.
So some sites are helping people narrow the field by using an algorithm – a set of logical instructions for solving a problem – to find love online.
The promise is that there is a scientific method of systematizing all the mystery and happenstance of human attraction.
But all that science, it turns out, isn’t quite so scientific.
“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.
Rather than reciting your resume and list of perfections, try working phrases into your profile such as “I’m looking for someone who loves to keep fit” or “I’d love to meet someone with a passion for Geocaching.” But what characteristics should you rattle off in that 70 percent? Whereas men respond positively to kind, approachable, and attractive women who value fitness, women prefer evidence of bravery, courage, and risk-taking over kindness and altruism in potential mates.
This suggestion fits with an abundance of research, some conducted by our colleagues. It shouldn’t be surprising that past research recommends using an attractive profile picture.
A generation ago, most young men would have considered happy hour at the Chainsaw Sisters Saloon a target-rich environment. Most importantly, while the odds of "getting lucky" were low, they were nonzero.
So even if she said, "You're more likely to get struck by lightning than to go home with me," he could answer, "Awesome! " Millennials empirically know that bar crawling is for recreation -- not for archaic, time-wasting, low-percentage mating rituals.
According to an infographic entitled Big Data Seeks Online Love by the Berkeley School of Information, one in 10 Americans has used a dating site or mobile app, and 23 percent have met a spouse or long-term partner through these sites.