Scientific american flaws of online dating
Big love As more and more people find love online, the art of dating has become a science, with data scientists poring over millions of fleeting interactions.For the current study, the motivation was personal: Dr. We didn’t trade email addresses, as neither of us had one of those either.But I guess I’m old fashioned, as a new study suggests that, on average, we can do better if we find our spouse using a computer.From an online survey of 19,131 American adults who married between 20, the researchers revealed, for the first time, that a large proportion of marriages are emerging from online interactions.“I was astounded to see that over a third or marriages are now starting online. Cacioppo’s team also found that meeting your spouse online was associated with a lower rate of marital breakups than were offline venues (5.96 versus 7.67 percent).Meanwhile, other (possibly political) problems may plague the work setting or family influences.The study was funded by EHarmony.com, which could make the results suspect. Two independent statisticians oversaw and verified the analysis of the data.
“The fact that it is significant at all and that online is superior to offline to me is surprising,” Cacioppo points out. Reis and Susan Sprecher, Scientific American Mind, September/October 2012.) The results cannot be explained by demographic factors such as the fact that those who met their spouse online tended to be better educated and more likely to be employed, as the scientists controlled for those influences.“It’s easy to make fun of, but it’s really important for us to understand, because we aren’t doing it very well.” Industry, he says, may be the relationship scientist’s only partner. He met his coauthor and spouse, Stephanie, on a panel at a scientific conference in Shanghai two and a half years ago. It is clear from this work that the landscape of dating and marriage is shifting and changing. “I turned to her and said, ‘If I start to snore, punch me.’” Cacioppo recalls. In the decades since that long-gone, offline era, people have increasingly been using the Internet to search for compatible partners.
In by far the largest study of its type, social neuroscientist John Cacioppo at the University of Chicago and his colleagues report today in the that online meetings have resulted in a surprising number of successful marriages.
“That breakup and marital satisfaction follow same pattern suggests that something about meeting online that is associated with better outcomes.”The study wasn’t designed to address what that “something” might be, but possibilities include access to more potential partners online and the fact that communicating electronically has, in other studies, led to greater self-disclosure and liking of the other person. They could however, stem from personality factors such as being a better decision-maker, perhaps, or more ready for commitment.