Skip to main content

Matching Algorithm Claim of Online Dating Sites Likely False

Luckily, there are online dating sites with a seemingly endless supply of possible dates and their promise to use special matching algorithms should deliver compatible hits in no time.

Reality, however, may reveal that those promised matches may not be quite as easy to come by as those sites promise. Doubt that these algorithms work are somewhat substantiated by research that claim those promises are little more than hot air.

“To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works,” said Eli Finkel, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Northwestern University. “If dating sites want to claim that their matching algorithm is scientifically valid, they need to adhere to the standards of science, which is something they have uniformly failed to do. In fact, our report concludes that it is unlikely that their algorithms can work, even in principle, given the limitations of the sorts of matching procedures that these sites use.”

Finkel said that, after reviewing those sites, claims of having matching algorithms in place are "unsubstantiated and likely false." According to the researcher, online dating websites do not consider even the most basic findings in relationship science and, as a result, cannot predict "long-term romantic compatibility."

For example, the sites ignore data from a couple’s "interaction style and ability to navigate stressful circumstances" - information that cannot be analyzed with the data that is provided by the individuals using such services. The success of data sites is much more likely to be based on the fact that they enable people to meet others relatively quickly and "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."