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online dating is waste of time can’t predict who you fancy

Dating websites claim attraction can be predicted from the right combination of traitsm but a new study suggests singletons have little hope of finding true love online.

Researchers found computer-based algorithms could predict who’s hot and who’s not — but it could not unravel the mystery of unique desire for a specific person.

The findings suggest we still can’t circumvent the hassle and heartache of the dating process. 

Researchers found computer-based algorithms could predict who’s hot and who’s not — but it could not unravel the mystery of unique desire for a specific person (stock image)

WHAT DID THEY DO?

The researchers used data from two samples of speed daters, who filled out questionnaires about more than 100 traits and preferences and then met in a series of four-minute dates.

Afterwards, the participants rated their interactions, indicating level of interest in and sexual attraction to each person they met.

Dr Joel and her colleagues used a machine learning algorithm to test whether it was possible to predict unique romantic desire based on participants’ questionnaire responses and before the individuals met.

The answer was no.

They found it was possible to predict the overall tendency for someone to like and to be liked by others — but not which two particular people were a match.

‘Attraction for a particular person may be difficult or impossible to predict before two people have actually met,’ said Samantha Joel, a University of Utah psychology professor and lead author.

‘A relationship is more than the sum of its parts. There is a shared experience that happens when you meet someone that can’t be predicted beforehand.’

The researchers used data from two samples of speed daters, who filled out questionnaires about more than 100 traits and preferences and then met in a series of four-minute dates.

Afterwards, the participants rated their interactions, indicating level of interest in and sexual attraction to each person they met.

Dr Joel and her colleagues used a machine learning algorithm to test whether it was possible to predict unique romantic desire based on participants’ questionnaire responses and before the individuals met.

The answer was no. 

Entering information into a computer and having it produce the perfect soul mate is still a way off, researchers found.

They found it was possible to predict the overall tendency for someone to like and to be liked by others — but not which two particular people were a match.

‘We found we cannot anticipate how much individuals will uniquely desire each other in a speed-dating context with any meaningful level of accuracy,’ Dr Joel said.

‘I thought that out of more than 100 predictors, we would be able to predict at least some portion of the variance. I didn’t expect we would find zero.’

‘Dating can be hard and anxiety provoking and there’s a market there for a short cut’, Dr Joel said.

The researchers used data from two samples of speed daters, who filled out questionnaires about more than 100 traits and preferences and then met in a series of four-minute dates

The researchers used data from two samples of speed daters, who filled out questionnaires about more than 100 traits and preferences and then met in a series of four-minute dates

The bottom line is relationship science still has a long way to go to decipher romantic attraction and what makes two particular people click, researchers found.

‘What if you didn’t have to kiss all the frogs? What if you could skip to the part where you click with someone? But our data suggests that, at least with the tools we currently have available, there isn’t an easy fix for finding love’, said Dr Joel. 

While online dating sites provide a valuable service by narrowing the field and identifying potential romantic prospects, ‘they don’t let you bypass the process of having to physically meet someone to find out how you feel about them,’ Dr Joel said.

It may be that we never figure it out what makes two people work because it is simple not possible, researchers say.

‘Romantic desire may well be more like an earthquake, involving a dynamic and chaos-like process, than a chemical reaction involving the right combination of traits and preferences’, said Dr Paul W. Eastwick of the University of California.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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