Online Personals Watch Exclusive Interview #8 -'s Chief Psychologist - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

« Fairfax Buys Aussie Online Dating Agency RSVP for A$38.9 Mln | Main | Dating Goes Digital »


Fernando Ardenghi

Interesting interview!!

Mr. Brooks, please, try to contact also:
-Dr. Neil Clark Warren (psychologist), from eHarmony.
-Dr. Mark Thompson and Dr. Glenn Hutchinson (psychologists) from WeAttract.
-Dr. Pepper Schwartz (sociologist) from PerfectMatch.
-Dr. Glenn Wilson from Cybersuitors (English for UK).
to interview them.

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

David Evans

The next generation of matchmaking is not scientific, it's about people matching people. This is not to say that scientific matchmaking does not play an important part of the introduction process, you need the critical mass first. People are looking for something new, a twist on the familiar zip code height, weight search routine. I predict this will drive membership much more effectively than more thorough tests, except in a few cases.

I find it quite interesting that James is openly admitting that personality profiling for online dating context is B.S. to some extent.

Even if I disagree personally with his stance on testing, I applaud his getting out in front of the issue and at least taking a stand. Then again, Weattract has no reason to make waves, they've already got the big prize (Yahoo). I can't find the Eharmony study either but then again it took me 6 months to find the True test.

Members do not care much about personality testing. This is a indisputable fact. Match had a low single-digit take rate on their WeAttract tests. Will we ever publicly know Yahoo!'s take rate is? Can we rely on honest reportage about numbers, success conversion rates from large dating sites? Of course not, too much transparency is not good for the industry.

Good point about drug companies. Successful online dating companies are good marketers and gain critical mass through media exposure. Nobody knows what Lipitior actually does, they just watch the commercial. Nobody knows what True or Eharmony test are like, they take it because they heard the commercial.

True needs to do a deal with Dr. Ruth and a movie tie-in or there will be no customers to match. Economics of running a dating site come into play here.

Finally, the dichotomy between the stated mandate to reduce the divorce rate and advertising is troubling. Are the cleavage shots scientifically justified?


Awesome interview and great comments too. I agree with Fernando's list of people who'd be great to hear from.

I also agree with relaxedguy's comments about 'cleavage shots.' I keep a file with ads because it's just so unbelievable to me that they have slogans like "We're busting at the seams with women" with a shot of just women's breasts and then "We're pulling strings for you," with a closeup of a string bikini. I asked my brother if these ads made sense to him and he said, "It's just marketing, you have to do what gets guys to your site." To me it's tasteless, but I watch with amazed curiosity anyway just because I can't believe someone would try it and I'm curious to see if it works.

I think the answer to "how can you tell that tests are true and correct" doesn't have anything to do with independent auditors or scientific journals. The answer should be based on the ratio of couples matched who find love to those who were incorrectly matched. If a test is published with all the publishing background in the world it still won't hold a candle to one that accurately predicts who will fall in love with whom.

I personally have met many of the matches that the test has made for me and many matches that eharmony made for me and neither has found Ms Right for me yet despite the lack or abundance of literature and scientific review. Imagine if Dr Houran's answer to the question "How can you be sure’s tests are true and correct?" was "The couples we match fall in love with each other twice as often as the couples eHarmony matches." THAT would be a selling point and would make me send a few more winks on their system again tonight... even though twice eHarmony's rate would be a 1 in 500 chance instead of the 1 in 1000 chance Fernando calculated in a previous thread on eHarmony.

- Glenn Gasner

Fernando Ardenghi

The next generation of serious dating and matchmaking will be more scientific than ever.

2005: The Flight to Quality process started.

By 2008: Quality Norms ISO 9001:2000 & Legislation will be expected. The market will divide into two well-identified groups.

*13-25 years old persons (teenagers) not interested in serious dating; they will use the service for fun. They will need exclusive CONTENTS for them. They will also play "people matching people game"; although there is a hierarchy between human relationships where feelings are involved; and could be very dangerous and harmful like a "big liquidizer".

*26-and more years old persons interested in serious dating. They will need quality CONTACTS (compatible real persons), Special Services (professionalism): the next generation of dating and matchmaking will be more scientific than ever, most probably the 16PF5 test in different languages (or similar test) will be a "must have" in compatibility matching. This group will not allow their friends / mums / parents / neighbours / relatives or "interested third parties" to be involved in a private matter as building a personal relationship with future in mind; a process that only concerns two persons.
These clients will have a good reason to pay for the service: avoid being hurt in their feelings by other persons.

Actually, many people try to "improve" their profile, to "retouch" photos and to "exaggerate" when filling likes and dislikes formularies in order to "sell better" their profile. People trend to overstate their qualities, they do not say the exact truth. They can and they will lie and also if the membership is FREE they can appear several times with several profiles.
Lucky, a personality test like 16PF5 works as an independent evaluation of a person; an external point of view.

I noticed that many users / subscribers (to sites that use proprietary tests or models) complaint about an actual big problem in "scientific dating and matchmaking": lack of precision / low precision / low successful matching rates. As far as I could analyze, it seems that proprietary tests or models have great precision in measuring different psychological variables but the matching algorithm has low precision when comparing one psycho-pattern to others.
It could be a great improvement if any dating site that uses "scientific dating and matchmaking"; i.e. applying psycho-test to measure personality items; specifies its ENSEMBLE (the whole set of different valid possibilities):
- Only Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test: 16 different possibilities.
- Improved MBTI with photos, likes-dislikes forms will have more possibilities.
- Big-5 dimensions of personality with 10 degrees per independent variable at the results of the test: 100,000 different possibilities (personality types).
- Complete 16PF5 test with 10 degrees per primary variable, 10,000,000,000,000,000 of different possibilities.

And a figure per each comparison between persons, like: client#01 to client#02 == 74.79865772%
and not a poor bar-graphic or a series of 5 empty / half / full-filled hearts-icon.

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

Michael Chung

Nice thoughts, Fernando. I like where this is going, though I see our progress to date as embryonic at best. But we must begin somewhere, right?

The biggest problem is that our understanding of relationship compatibility is extremely rudimentary. The major hole I see in all of this scientific modeling is Attraction: what causes it, how much of human choice is motivated by this one factor alone, etc.

Once you know why and how two people are attracted to each other, only then is it even worthwhile to explore the nature of compatibility. It is like worrying about designing a flashlight when you haven't invented batteries yet!

Fernando Ardenghi

"Once you know why and how two people are attracted to each other, only then is it even worthwhile to explore the nature of compatibility. "

Dear Mr. Michael Chung:

At the United States there are many persons researching on
Unfortunately, NOT ALL of them agree between themselves!!!

You could see (as an example):

Change Assortative Mating and Marital Quality in Newlyweds: A Couple-Centered Approach, February 2005 at "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology"
Page #19 of PDF whitepaper
Page #322 of magazine
Couple Similarity and Marital Quality
Our study presents one of the most comprehensive examinations of the similarity–satisfaction link. The observed similarity–satisfaction correlations suggest that similarity on personality related domains was strongly associated with satisfaction,

"Personality, Family History, and Competence in Early Adult Romantic Relationships"
that says at page #574
For example, recognizing that behavior in relationships is partially rooted in relatively stable personality traits can help explain why relationship interventions are sometimes unsuccessful. It may be more difficult for some people to change how they act in relationships because these behavior patterns are manifestations of more general and pervasive behavioral tendencies.
....the common sense notion that the personality characteristics of a romantic partner are an important factor to contemplate when considering the viability of a long-term romantic union .

"Hurrydate: Mate preferences in action" Could be download from
Interesting to see: If its conclusion only shows "people's INFATUATION and FANTASY"! i.e. The conclusion of this paper can not be applied to any serious dating method.
Why U.S. divorce rate is over 47%? Something wrong is happening?

"Two Personalities, One Relationship: Both Partners' Personality Traits Shape the Quality of Their Relationship"

Also a THESIS that could be of your interest.

An Analysis of Behavior in Online Dating Systems
"Findings: Users opted for sameness more often than chance would predict in all the characteristics examined in this section. This concurs with the overwhelming evidence gathered by relationship researchers (see surveys in Brehm et al. 2002, Fisher 1992) that actual similarity and perceived similarity in demographics, attitudes, values, and
attractiveness correlate with attraction (and, later, relationship satisfaction). However, users demonstrate this homophily to differing degrees for different characteristics." can be read at page 47.

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]




I really just don't think you can come up with a way to automatically fit two people an a match every time. Because personality types differ so greatly not only from person to person but also, any one given person may have different preferences during different stages of life.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Dig Deeper - Research Categories

We're Social

  • Facebook  X   Youtube Linkedin