Psst — research shows they don’t actually work.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.washingtonpost.com
The strongest evidence for this comes from a 2012 paper published by Northwestern University’s Eli Finkel and four co-authors in the journal “Psychological Science in the Public Interest,” which not only eviscerated the very concept of matching algorithms, but called on the Federal Trade Commission to regulate claims about their effectiveness. To understand why these authors found these claims so troubling, you first have to understand some basic things about how relationships work. Leave aside, for a minute, your Disneyland notions of soulmates or true love: In reality, most people could happily pair off with a large number of potential partners, and the factors that determine whom they do pair with have as much to do with circumstance as anything else. Relationship success basically depends on three things, Finkel et al. explain: individual characteristics, like whether you’re smart or what kinds of hang-ups you have around relationships; quality of interaction, or how you hit it off in-person; and surrounding circumstances — stuff like your race or health or financial status. Right off the bat, this proves a major obstacle for matching algorithms. They simply can’t account for your future circumstances or the way you’ll jibe with another person, particularly before you’ve met; they might attempt to model those things, but there’s not enough input data to account for the diversity of possible outcomes.