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EHarmony asks users to fill out extensive psychological questionnaires, many based on established personality scales.Ok Cupid asks quirkier questions (e.g., “wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and live on a sailboat? The idea that we can use reliable tests to identify appropriate partners is certainly seductive (forgive the pun)."Online dating is definitely a new and much needed twist on relationships," study co-author Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the university, said in a written statement.Studies in behavioral economics show that the dating market in Western society is grossly inefficient, particularly once people leave high school or college, he said.
Also, many online daters correspond with one another for weeks or months by computer before ever meeting face-to-face, which has been shown to yield unrealistic expectations.One notable finding is that individuals high in neuroticism (i.e., the personality trait that denotes whether someone tends to experience negative and easily changeable emotions—think Woody Allen’s characters) tend to form the least stable and satisfying unions.When it comes to values, attitudes, and beliefs, research supports the notion that long-term couples tend to be more similar with each other than random strangers.This is known as the similarity hypothesis, or the “birds of a feather flock together" effect.
"The Internet holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive romantic partnerships, and those relationships are one of the best predictors of emotional and physical health," he said.
But there are downsides to looking for love on the web, according to Reis.