Psychologists’ verdict (and so on) on online dating

The American Psychological Association has lots to say about the online dating industry, and is rushing to say it just as Valentine’s Day approaches:

1. A press release:

February 6, 2012 — For Immediate Release

Grading The Online Dating Industry

New Scientific Report Finds Some Positives, Many Areas for Improvement
The report card is in, and the online dating industry won’t be putting this one on the fridge. A new scientific report concludes that although online dating offers users some very real benefits, it falls far short of its potential….

2. The study described in the press release:

Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science

By Eli J. Finkel [pictured here] (Northwestern University), Paul W. Eastwick (Texas A & M University), Benjamin R. Karney (UCLA), Harry T. Reis (University of Rochester), and Susan Sprecher (Illinois State University). They write:

“Online dating sites frequently claim that they have fundamentally altered the dating landscape for the better. This article employs psychological science to examine (a) whether online dating is fundamentally different from conventional offline dating and (b) whether online dating promotes better romantic outcomes than conventional offline dating. The answer to the first question (uniqueness) is yes, and the answer to the second question (superiority) is yes and no….”

Here is some detail from the study:

3. An announcement that they will soon have an editorial about the study described in the press release:

Editorial: Online Dating: The Current Status —and Beyond

By Arthur Aron
Read the Full Text (Coming Soon)

(HT Vaughan Bell)