Online matchmaking comes in handy for finding life partners

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Washington, Jan 29 (UNI) Parents don't you spend sleepless nights, your wards will find their spouses of their own volition, courtesy the booming matchmaking industry.

The industry is here to provide parents respite from the gruelling task of finding a perfect match for their children.

Hitherto finding a mate was considered too important for the parents assisted by astrologers and matchmakers until customs changed in the West.

But now some social scientists have rediscovered psychometric data to test their algorithms for finding love.

Another company, Perfectmatch.com, is using an algorithm designed by Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington at Seattle. Match.com, which has become the largest online dating service by letting people find their own partners, set up a new matchmaking service, Chemistry.com, using an algorithm created by Helen E Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers who has studied the neural chemistry of people in love.

As the matchmakers compete for customers and denigrate each other's methodology the battle has intrigued academic researchers who study the mating game. On the one hand, they are sceptical, because the algorithms and the results have not been published for peer review.

But they also realise that these online companies give scientists a remarkable opportunity to gather enormous amounts of data and test their theories in the field.

Its algorithm was developed a decade ago by Galen Buckwalter, a psychologist who had previously been a research professor at the University of Southern California. Drawing on previous evidence that personality similarities predict happiness in a relationship, he administered hundreds of personality questions to 5,000 married couples and correlated the answers with the couples' marital happiness, as measured by an existing instrument called the dyadic adjustment scale, the New York Times reported.

The result was an algorithm that is supposed to match people on 29 core traits, like social style or emotional temperament, and vital attributes like relationship skills.

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