The exact matching algorithms at the various sites may never be publically known, but even if we could know, they are likely to change and be fluid depending on a number of factors. One aspect of the calculations is likely to involve psychometric theory and analyses XXI guiding the process of combining items into factor scores, for each individual. Then, these scores are likely compared to benchmarks determined by prior data sets and to current data from potential matches’ responses on the same dimensions. users’ factor scores are compared to various benchmarks to determine which compatibility models are statistically valid for them, and then these models are used to compute compatibility coefficients for each logically possible pairing in the user pool.” In addition, the eHarmony patent (Buckwalter et al., 2004, 2008) suggests that users are first classified according to an individual satisfaction score, representing the likelihood that they would be satisfied in relationships and then further collapsed into three groups based on likelihood of being satisfied: unlikely, average, good. This consideration of an individual satisfaction score is similar to the consideration of personal factors affecting compatibility, as displayed in Figure 1. Then, within each of these groups, a satisfaction score is approximated with each possible match within the same category. This approximated satisfaction score is likely based on a similarity index. For example, in a recent empirical report, eHarmony scientists Carter and Buckwalter (2009) wrote that their online system: “accurately understood at a broad level to create pairings based on a schema of maximizing the intra-dyad levels of traits observed in empirical research to be positively related to marriage quality, and minimizing intra-dyad differences on traits where similarities have been observed to be positively related to , p. 107).
In sum, there are scientists and a scientific stamp at the three major Internet matching sites. eHarmony seems to focus exclusively on the principle of similarity, although on dimensions (e.g., personality) that have shown in some published relationship literature to have only modest, positive assortative mating in actual couples (e.g., Montoya et al., 2008). Chemistry and PerfectMatch claim to focus on both similarity and complementarity, with the dominant principle seeming to depend on the particular variable, circumstances, and individual preferences. As reviewed earlier in this article, however, almost no published research exists to indicate that complementarity on attitudes, values, or personality is associated with relationship satisfaction or success in long-term relationships. Nonetheless, the “proof is in the pudding;” future peer-reviewed publications from the scientists at the matching sites may provide validity for their choices of variables and their emphasis on complementarity for at least some variables or for some people. eHarmony appears to be the leader in terms of several aspects of science, including the use of published scientific literature behind their matching, conducting their own scientific research to improve the matching, and in contributing to academic research on couples.
The theoretical perspective underlying the online matchmaking paradigm is that who you are and who you choose to be with will have an enormous impact on the quality of your marriage. Matchmaking services also assume it is possible why not try tids out to affect your selection when looking for a mate in a way that will improve on the outcome in a manner that would likely not occur without intervention (Carter & Buckwalter, 2009, p. 106).