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Scientists Spot Trouble With Online Dating

'Supermarkets of love' no better than bars for meeting people: Study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2012 3:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Online dating could help you find your perfect match—but your chances aren't any better than they'd be at a bar, a study suggests. You can't tell much about the people listed on sites like Match.com. Browsing such lists "overloads people and they end up shutting down," the psychology professor behind the study tells Reuters. It amounts to shopping at "supermarkets of love": When you have too many choices, you make bad decisions.

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Algorithms that sites like eHarmony use to match people probably don't help much, the researchers say. "Eighty years of relationship science has reliably shown you can't predict whether a relationship succeeds based on information about people who are unaware of each other," says the professor. In short, "there is no reason to believe that online dating improves romantic outcomes," a co-author tells Time. "It may yet, and someday some service might provide good data to show it can, but there is certainly no evidence to that right now.” (Read more online dating stories.)

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