Online Personals Watch Exclusive Interview #5 -'s CEO - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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Fernando Ardenghi.

Actually many online dating sites invented a proprietary test to measure different items and a way to compare and assign a compatibility percentage between profiles.
-eHarmony uses a proprietary test, invented by Dr. Neil Clark Warren (psychologist), only English for USA.
-Match and YahooPersonals! use WeAttract's proprietary test, invented by Dr. Mark Thompson and Dr. Glenn Hutchinson (psychologists) Adapted MBTI model, only English for USA.
-Tickle uses a proprietary test only English for USA, invented by Plumeus Inc (Canada).
-PerfectMatch uses a proprietary test, invented by Dr. Pepper Schwartz (sociologist) Adapted MBTI model, named DUET method, only English for USA.
-Cybersuitors uses a proprietary test, invented by Dr. Glenn Wilson, only English for UK.

-True uses a proprietary test, invented by Dr. Jim Houran (psychologist) Adapted Rasch model, only English for USA. has its proprietary test independently certified to meet the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (its proprietary compatibility test uses an adapted Rasch model as it could be seen in TCT Manual)

As I could understand HAS NOT any certificate about MARITAL STATUS SATISFACTION and STABILITY PREDICTORS in its proprietary compatibility test.

There are a lot of tests that meet Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing:

Some Examples
IPAT's 16PF5 in different languages from
CPpro from
IPIP 16PF5 from Dr. Lewis Goldberg, Oregon Research Institute
15FQ+ from
FiT In from

Raven Matrices

Other tests:
Zulliger Test
Rorschach Test
House Tree Person from Buck-Hammer
Person under the rain test, used to measure how aggressive a person could be in some situations.
Bender-Gestalt test (used to test Driver's License applicants in Argentina)
But these last five could not be computer automated, although there are Typical Answers

Mostly they are used to match job applicants to a job (the 3 or 4 persons who best fit a position).
They also could be used to match persons, online dating. The main problem is how to solve the matching algorithm.
Many Single_But_Not_Alone persons are not interested in marriage satisfaction and stability predictors, only in contacting predictable persons, quality contacts, reliable people.

Kindest Regards,
Fernando Ardenghi
[email protected]

James Houran

Thanks for the comments, Fernando!

I had a few corrections and comments. First, the TRUE Compatibility Test (TCT) was created as an online compatibility test by Ilona Jerabek and her team at Plumeus, Inc. along with the psychology team at

Second, the Compatibility Index (TCI) between two people who have completed the TCT is a significant predictor of relationship satisfaction. The TCT has excellent technical quality (based on Rasch scaling/ Item Response Theory), and, again, is a significant predictor of relationship quality. The TCT is valid for heterosexual and same-sex matching -- and the TCT has no age or gender biases. Moreover, a summary of the rationale and technical quality of the TCT was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, Dynamical Psychology.

Many of the tests you identified could meet professional testing standards if they can be shown to yield scores which have (i) no item or test bias (only confirmed with Item Response Theory not Classical Test Theory), (ii) conjoint additivity (interval or ratio level scores, not ordinal or nominal), and (iii) validity for predicting relationship satisfaction. Not all proprietary tests do meet standards -- even though they might be well-known by the public as well as psychologists.

None of the other compatibility tests touted by other online dating or relationship sites (eHarmony, PerfectMatch, Yahoo, etc.) have been independently audited by a tests and measurement expert to confirm that they do indeed meet these professional standards -- much less have their tests been published in peer-reviewed journals. This was the basis of my recent paper published in the North American Journal of Psychology. The one possible exception is the test developed by Dr. Glenn Wilson for Cybersuitors (UK). The evidence for this test's efficacy has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

When a company uses "science" to sell a product and instill consumer confidence in the results, then that company should truly use scientific methods and back that claim up publicly. has demonstrated that audits and publications can be accomplished without revealing proprietary information, so there is no reason why consumers cannot be given this important information so they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to utilize a particular test. Companies have the right to use whatever method they want to match people, but companies have an ethical and moral responsibility for disclosing the reliability and validity of a test/method when they advertise scientific methods and scientific matching. This is an issue that will not go away -- in fact, I predict it will only become bigger in the months ahead.

As for the percentage of people that use testing in the search for a partner, well....not all do. The majority probably don't. But, my question is whether those that don't made that decision because what assurance are they given that the test is worthwhile and professional?! Another study I published in the North American Journal of Psychology found that when a compatibility test predicts that someone is extremely compatible, the test taker concludes that there is only a 50% probability that the match will prove satisfactory when met in person.

Thus, it is clear to me that the industry needs to do a better job of educating people why they should use and trust testing. The problem is...the public is right in being skeptical!!! TRUE has set an industry standard that I hope other so-called "science-based" matchmaking services will soon follow.


James Houran, Ph.D.
Chief Psychologist,


Mr. Vest claims he made progress in making online dating safer. His attempt to get laws changed failed.

Is he plannng to try again? Or, was it for attention as claimed?

Mr. Vest is being sued by an ex finance in Dallas for nearly 6 million dollars. The claims in the law suit are very disturbing. If they are TRUE everything Mr. Vest claims such as whating to make dating wholesome and safe are a total misrepresentation.

I have also hear Mr. Vest is being investigaged in Texas for monies donated to various candidates campaigns.

I would like to know why this interview reads more like a press release to promote True and it does reflect a TRUE background and investigation for Mr. Vest.

Mr. Vest is so in favor of background checks. Where is his?

Bart Downey

I have found this ''organization to be unresponsive, argumentative and subject to ignoring requests. I have found this organization to not be honest nor to be professional in their dealings

Dallas Texas

Caught my fiance' of 3 year 2 weeks ago with an active profile on (the free one). He saw the light and it scared the hell out of him and he knows I'll kick him to the curb in a heartbeat if he does it again. He's lost all privacy rights to his computer...

I have emailed several times regarding this and have received no reply. Since they obviously don't care that they make it so easy to cheat and choose not to respond when it does happen, I do will not recommend to anyone.


More law suits flying at True. The financial problem is at critical mass.

Vest miss management, life style, and paranoia is about to sink the ship.

True didn't start this company to make dating safer. Vest the owner is paranoia. He hired an investigator to follow his fiancee and get her private information. Because this guy is off his rocker he accused her of being in the Mafia, having sex with everyone but her dog, and a list of outrageous accusations. All the while Vest was cheating on her!


I know first hand about Matchmakers. Well, one named Sara Norton, Dallas Texas. I meet her in 1991 at a fundraiser for Parkland Hospital. She approached me gave me her card and asked me to meet with her so she could tell me about her service.

I called a couple of weeks later and met with her at an office on Lemon Ave. Sara told me she matches people and that she only charged the men ($3,000) a year. Sara went on to say that the men she worked with were busy professional, usually divorce and getting back into dating. Sara also told me she checked these guys out.

Sara introduced me to some very nice people and a couple I did date for 6 to 8 months. Sara also would have an open party that she charged $50 for men and some women $30. I have never been much of a party girl. Sara would call and ask me to come because the party was usually short on women - no charge. Sara also would have a private party for her members at one of the members home. Come to think of it she usually charged for that party too. Sara would call and ask me to come to those as well. This occasion was special it was her birthday.

I mainly went to her events because she didn't charge me and was introducing me to people. Most were a complete mismatch and I began to believe she wasn't matching by interests, morals, character. It was more I have a guy that needs a date. Who owes me a favor? I arrive late. My usually MO was to stay for one hour and a half say thank you get my car go home get comfortable and watch TV with my dog.

The night of her birthday party. fall of 1995 I wasn't up for going out, but there was two reasons to go. The first it is Sara's birthday and the second was it was in my neighborhood about 5 miles away. I arrive at a nice colonial style home. You know the white house with 4 pillars. Cars lined the street bumper to bumper. When I pulled into the end of the cul-de-sac there was a valet service. There was a line to get in the house. You had to check in and pay. While I was waiting a man approached me introduced himself as the host and with that I went inside. That night at Sara's birthday party was pretty much the same. I found Sara. Her father was with her. Sara was having a great time. Usually when I talk to her I could see she wasn't listening and more interested in the crowd. I went to get a cocktail and hit the buffet. Most of the people there I had seen at other events of Sara's and there really wasn't anyone I wanted to meet normally. There usually were one or two people that it was nice to see and catch up with.

My host was Herb Vest.

There is a lot more to the story, I will say this there was no happy ever after. The sum of it was womanizing, abuse, cheating, narcissistic, paranoia, perverted sexual demands, manipulation, deception, lies, character assassination, invasion of privacy, accusations: mafia and a prostitute. Which all lead to a nervous breakdown, drug overdose, suicidal, anxiety and panic attacks, Post traumatic Stress Disorder, medications, doctors, mental hospital and a very nasty law suit which is soon to be public and is on going.

The point is it doesn't matter how you meet someone, nor does education, success, age, or wealth. A background check will never disclose a persons morals, sprit, character, heart or mental health issues and in fact if you have the money you can hide your past as Mr. Vest has by getting the judge Merrill Hartman, 192nd Dallas District Court to seal the file, by claiming the information would damage his business and personal life.

Mr. Vest claims to what to protect people from emotional and physical hazards through background checks and full discloser. End Divorce, so why doesn't he practice what he preaches?

Did I mention Mr. Vest is on his third marriage (a girl half his age) Cheated on his second wife with a prosititue. Got the first wife in a family way, they lost the baby and divorced. Spent over $100,000. to fake an engagement for revenge to the fiancee he cheated on. Then moved this young girl in his home all the while he was telling his fiancee he wanted them to work out their issues, but he was going to be dating. And he would buy her a house and give her allowance. She declined his offer. A couple of months later he was engaged to the girl. During their engagement and sometime passed the wedding Mr. Vest contunied to inquire and use various people she knew to manipulate. Eventually this lead to her filing a lawsuit against Mr. Vest.

comdetroit is an absolute scam. I have reported them to the BBB, FTC, and the Michigan Attorney General. Next step is to see a lawyer and see what is needed for a class action lawsuit.

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