Match made in heaven?

Matchmaking software and tests are popular right now

But do they really work?

Matchmaking software aims to examine members’ core beliefs and characteristics to give them a reliable idea of the type of people they should be dating to get a long lasting relationship.   I was recently asked about my thoughts on this so I thought I’d share them here.

I believe that this sort of profiling might well be useful, but is most probably flawed due to two well know psychological effects.

Barnum Effect:  The problem with any form of test is that people are rarely honest about themselves.  The Barnum (or Forer effect) is the idea that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that they believe are specifically for them, but are in fact general enough to apply to a variety of different people.  Sof if you give someone the results of a personality profile then they’ll choose to accept the bit they likes or overlook the ones they don’t.

Placebo Effect:  If you tell someone that they have been matched with the very latest state of the art findings then they’ll subconsciously find themselves working hard to fill in the gaps.  This may or may not be a good thing. On one hand, they’ll put more of an effort into making a relationship work.  On the other it doesn’t really matter whether your matches are real not not.

I really don’t know how accurate these tests really are.  From my experience,  the secret of successful dating is all about chemistry.  There are obviously certain things that are vital when it comes to matching.  This could be religion, race, age etc.  However , most people have relatively open mind and will surprised by who they actually really do get on with.

So, what do you think about all this?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Best Wishes,

James Preece – The Dating Guru

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