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  • Building meaningful relationships online
  • The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites
  • Where Do YOU Find Dates?
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  • ALL Asian Dating sites are SCAMS!

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    The following sample research paper shows how those who engage in online dating undergo a sociological process of reducing uncertainty. Social networking sites have shown to be the main driving force behind online dating and much research has done been on this behalf to show how it is changing the rules of dating, so to speak. Online dating and uncertainty reduction Technology has undoubtedly changed the way that human beings communicate with one another today.

    As the internet has expanded heavily in the last ten years, so have online products and services that utilize communication on a mass scale. According to Gibbs et alover ten million Americans have a profile on at least one dating website p. This new technological landscape of communication poses both risks and opportunities for the user who is looking to find a potential mate. Moreover, communication over the internet also offers great research opportunities regarding whether traditional studies of communication among humans applies in this online context.

    One such theory, Uncertainty Reduction Theory URTpredicted that there are seven factors in human exchange and three basic, yet essential, strategies that humans utilize in reducing anxiety when meeting another person Twente, N. While the implementation of social networking and dating sites have changed the way in which we communicate with one another, the rules of social interaction according to URT still apply, albeit in different contexts.

    Relevant terminology Firstly, it is important to define relevant terms and premises that will aid our discussion. Face to Face hereafter referred to as FtF interaction is the traditional face to face interaction that exists among humans where visual cues are present. A critical premise of our discussion is that people who use online dating sites via CMC are using it in the hope that it will lead to eventual FtF communication. Another important term will be self-monitor.

    The concept of being a self-monitor will be integral in our discussion of online dating because the information we choose to display online is usually highly selective and for the purpose of attracting a mate for a FtF interaction. Finally, URT will refer to the classic theory by Berger that theorized that humans use specific strategies and cues before divulging more personal information p.

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    URT will be discussed more thoroughly later in the paper. In our discussion, it is important to review relevant literature regarding technology, use of social media and relationshipscommunication and online dating in general. Berger and CalabreseDawkins, and Gibbs et al, will give relevant background information and details.

    Gudykunst will also discuss how URT applies within the contexts of different ethnicities and sex. This will allow us to get comprehensive background information. Development of computer mediated communication Next, it is important to have a basic understanding of how CMC developed and the early schools of thought that analyzed this interaction Parks, While highly pessimistic, Parks offered evidence that online relationships can not only be successful, but can develop into eventual FtF interaction.

    Sheldon will show that interaction on Facebook offers a wealth of information regarding how we deal with uncertainty within a network where we tend to know most of the individuals in person, or have at least met them on one occasion. Also, Sheldon will demonstrate that individuals in SNS use specific cues and elements of interaction alongside strategies of URT to predict their behavior.

    Finally, we will investigate how online dating sites like eHarmony integrate scientific principles of communication and how well they apply to URT. A general view of the process of meeting individuals and how communication is facilitated will be offered by the eHarmony website eHarmony, N. This will allow us to analyze exactly how applicable URT is to CMC settings and how well the dating service tailors to the different context of communication.

    Furthermore, we will look at case studies specific to online dating sites like Match. Gibbs will provide an in-depth study of Match. Specifically, what strategies are mostly utilized and what cues are critical to the overall interaction.

    Face to face interaction In meeting new people FtF, we tend to engage in behaviors that reduce our uncertainty about the other person. The way in which we reduce this uncertainty is by utilizing the seven factors: This original URT was supplemented by Berger by including that humans tend to reduce uncertainty by utilizing one or all of the three strategies: Of the strategies listed, observing others where the person is likely to act natural is passive while being in direct contact with them is active Twente, N.

    An interactive strategy, however, includes communicating with the person directly in an effort to find out more about the person.

    Building meaningful relationships online

    The interactive strategy of engaging in information seeking behavior is by far the most important aspect of reducing uncertainty. This means that as we meet new people, we want to find out more about them to reduce our uncertainty about them.

    However, studies suggest that we are also hesitant to divulge personal information about ourselves so easily. This means that as we are looking for information about others, we tend to only divulge information at the same rate as other people do in FtF communication. This would make sense as we tend to fear judgment by other people that we do not know as well. Uncertainty reduction theory There also exist some demographic differences in URT.

    Moreover, their results did not suggest that gender played a role in using uncertainty reduction strategies Gudykunst,p. This means that men and women tend to act similarly in reducing uncertainty in social situations. Essentially, the URT strategy of information seeking was higher in those that were more self-conscious of their behavior. Other than that, ethnicity and gender did not affect URT in the FtF context that the study was researched within.

    Next, it is important to understand the early schools of thought and development of online communication. His literature review argued that this was true because people within CMC settings exert more verbal aggression, blunt disclosure and negative behavior in comparison to groups in FtF settings Parks,p. Despite the negative feedback from other scholars, Parks found evidence that online relationships can develop and people can adapt their behavior to account for the missing aspects of interaction, like physical proximity and frequency.

    Building meaningful relationships online For instance, even in early asParks argued that online settings can foster the growth of meaningful relationships, despite the shortcomings of missing cues in FtF communication. Even more surprising is the notion that the relationships that developed online tended to expand to FtF communication over time: Although nearly all respondents used direct E-mail About a third had used the telephone The average number of channels used was 2.

    These findings imply that relationships that begin on line rarely stay there Parks,p. Computer mediated communication fosters new relationships This research implies that even as early inthe internet and CMC did foster the development of new relationships that eventually extended out of the scope of online interaction.

    This had a lot to do with how users managed uncertainty with the tools they had. Since visual and aural cues were not always present, the use of smileys and other improvised cues were used to develop rapport with other individuals Parks,p.

    Essentially, the way that people communicated online in involved an adaptation of visual cues to textual ones. Bythe growth of online dating sites resulted in services that were tailored specifically to meet the needs to people looking to find relationships online. These services were designed to facilitate, foster and encourage the growth of successful relations that extended outside of CMC.

    Indeed, from tonot much has changed in terms of what is possible within the realm of CMC. While users can share photos, videos and other forms of multimedia, the factors of proximity and physical cues are still not there.

    Essentially, CMC settings are successful in fostering relationships because visual cues are not requirements of interaction and when they are necessary, textual cues were seen to be comparable alternatives.

    Facebook relationships Facebook relationships thrive on the level of intimacy within self-disclosure.

    The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites

    This means that the more we disclose to others in terms of quality, not so much quality, the more meaningful the relationship becomes. This supports URT because as we disclose more and trust others, we develop stronger relationships. As we develop stronger online relationships, we reduce the overall uncertainty about the other person.

    Thus, interactions on Facebook appear more like FtF communication than meets the eye. As predictability was also a critical aspect of URT, the evidence would suggest that CMC relationships that developed on Facebook took on the same conventional characteristics of FtF interactions. Consequently, while the context for communication is entirely different in an online setting, the means and social processes involved in developing friendships was still consistent.

    However, it is important to understand that Facebook offers an environment where we tend to know most of our connections in person, see their pictures and have the ability to seek out information and context clues from their activity. Therefore, it is also important to study how URT and the strategies apply in CMC when we do not necessarily know or have existing FtF relationships with the other person.

    Such a case study is other online dating sites. Neil Warren utilized his 35 years of clinical experience to launch a service that would utilize scientific research on CMC to help people develop meaningful relationships in a safe environment eHarmony, N. Their process uses the following guidelines: Essentially, the important aspects of information seeking behavior are met with this guided communication.

    Users can browse profiles based on relevant criteria and a controlled communication environment is there to carefully foster interaction, if any. Luckily, research has been done on behalf of online dating sites to analyze CMC in online dating communities. In this comprehensive study of respondents who use at least one online dating site such as eHarmony or Match. Even more interesting is the issue of privacy and security.

    Gibbs remarked that security issues were the most important factor that influenced uncertainty reduction behaviors Gibbs et al,p. Basically, the extent to which URT applied to the results was based on security issues. As users were concerned with who they were communicating with, they engaged in more information seeking strategies. There were also other notable results. In addition to information seeking behavior, users also tended to utilize warranting reducing uncertainty and overcoming security concerns.

    This could be accounted for by the fact that within the realm of online dating, the users intend to develop FtF relationships over time. Indeed, this increased the overall use of uncertainty reduction strategies. Security in online dating Consequently, these warranting practices mean that security was a major issue. As expected, users who engaged in these strategies tended to disclose more personal information to the other user.

    Moreover, contextual clues were also used to reduce uncertainty and find out about the potential mates they were communicating with. Thus, although visual cues were not there and users were communicating randomly, similar principles of URT still did apply. Users not only disclosed more information as they used more strategies, but they also tended to value privacy concerns more. In fact, the issue of privacy is one of the major differences from CMC within other social networks like Facebook.

    Gibbs also remarked that because users do not have access to mutual friends as they would in Facebook, considering potential partners required a much more in depth process of reducing uncertainty Gibbs et al,p. Indeed, predicting the level of self disclosure that users participated in was directly correlated to the privacy-related concerns of online dating sites.

    Thus, since URT strategies mitigated these concerns, many users who reported success in online dating engaged in these strategies quite often. Consequently, we can see that while the Facebook environment is different from online dating sites, users still engaged in similar strategies, albeit in different levels of intensity.

    Self-disclosure leads to success Gibbs also reported that although higher self-disclosure in online dating led to greater perceived success, her findings suggest that there are numerous key distinctions in the type of self-disclosure that was utilized. As users have a choice as to what information they divulge, they can monitor the image that they project on potential partners.
    May 12, Carl went through a series of relationships throughout his adult life, but none of the men were quite right for him.

    That is, until he joined Match.

    The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites Scientific American

    They started dating exclusively shortly after their first date, bonding over a passion for LGBT activism and graphic design. After two years of dating, Carl moved from Baltimore to Washington, D. Couple that with the love we share… we are twice as strong. Gay Chat Site Communicating with matches is arguably the most important part of online dating.

    Chatting or instant messaging features is what you want, and the go-to for that is Zoosk. Gay Christian Dating Site Match. Dating is all about the numbers, and with more than 1. With their intuitive layout, and personality matching system, OurTime does all of the legwork for you.

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    From creating an account to searching profiles to messaging matches, a trial period allows you to take a dating site for a spin before signing on the proverbial dotted line. Use the Gay Dating Apps to Meet People in Your Area When dating sites came onto the scene in the s, singles loved being able to meet people from the comfort of their own homes. When dating apps hit the Internet in the s, singles could now find that special someone no matter where they were.

    Thanks to their convenience and features like location-based matching, dating apps have become especially popular among gay men. All of the sites on this list have desktop and mobile versions, so you can date anywhere, anytime, and anyway you like. We work closely with the teams behind every gay dating site and chat room we suggest, and we always refer to ratings in The App Store or Google Play and user comments on sites like TrustPilot as well.

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    Get expert advice delivered right to your inbox We try to avoid the fluff and deliver tips and guides that really matter Email Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter!

    Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations. What features matter most? How much does it cost? It is important to decide how much you can afford to pay before committing to a site. An online dating site might be free, or have different payment levels.

    If there are different levels of membership and payment, check to see which features are included in each level and which features you find essential. The membership price might be a yearly, monthly, or quarterly amount. Recently, there has been many mobile dating apps that will let you pay by the action instead of by a set amount of time.

    It is important to read the fine print and to find out how easy or difficult it is to cancel a subscription. What is the matching process? Online dating websites offer a variety of methods on how to search for a mate.

    Some mobile apps will match you with people based on criteria, including age, gender, and geographic proximity. More traditional sites may offer anything from a simple search to a highly specific advanced search. Some more seriously minded sites request that members fill out elaborate compatibility questionnaires. Most dating sites offer a chance to look for the closest possible match.

    The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites Scientific American

    However, if you are currently looking to meet someone in close proximity, many of the mobile dating apps will provide you with your best results with little to no cost. Unless you are using a site specifically meant for a casual or very serious relationship, it has become an industry standard to offer members the chance to whittle down the potential matches.

    Dating sites do this based on preferences such as income, smoking and drinking, if the match has kids and whether he or she has ever been married.

    There are some dating sites that ask members to fill out detailed questionnaires designed to choose matches based on compatibility. Is the dating site niche? If you have a very specific set of interests, there are many sites that may cater to your niche.

    Where Do YOU Find Dates?

    Some of these niche sites are Farmersonly. These sites can cater to people who are only interested in dating within a specific religion, income level, race and more. These sites focus on daters looking for matches based on attractiveness level, occupation, same sex relationships, people that are STD positive and more.

    These sites are for people of a specific age. Currently Baby boomers, those over 50, are overwhelmingly turning to the web to find a mate. What are the privacy safeguards? Depending on the dating site, all other members might be able to see your profile and message you. Check to see what safeguards are put in place by the site, and which ones you can enable to limit those who sees your profile.

    Limiting who sees your profile: Does the site allow just the bare minimum of your profile to be seen in search results? Some sites wait until you favorite, wink, or in some way OK a member before they can see your whole profile. That said, it is important that you only share information in your profile that you are okay with a stranger being able to see.

    Keeping the search results wide open: If your goal is to meet someone in the immediate future for a casual drink or get together, the best option would be mobile dating apps like Tinder, JSwipe and many others.

    These apps allow you to quickly find similarly minded people. On most dating sites, you can use a sort feature to see which members are currently online right now and available to talk. Is the dating process safe? Most dating sites have become extremely good about policing their members for negative or unsafe behavior.

    There are several sites that offer additional levels of security including background checks and photo verification. Many sites employ a method known as social verification to help prevent wrongdoers from gaining access to you. This goes above and beyond just asking for your email. This, combined with highly trained scammer prevention teams, have made online dating safer than it has ever been. Several sites now offer members a chance to prove their identity by sending additional material.

    This includes emailing a photo of the member, holding a piece of paper, with a set of numbers that has been randomly generated by the site. Other members do not see this, but it allows the site's staff to confirm their identity.
    Advertisement Every day, millions of single adults, worldwide, visit an online dating site.

    Many are lucky, finding life-long love or at least some exciting escapades. Others are not so lucky. The industry—eHarmony, Match, OkCupid, and a thousand other online dating sites—wants singles and the general public to believe that seeking a partner through their site is not just an alternative way to traditional venues for finding a partner, but a superior way.

    With our colleagues Paul Eastwick, Benjamin Karney, and Harry Reis, we recently published a book-length article in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest that examines this question and evaluates online dating from a scientific perspective. We also conclude, however, that online dating is not better than conventional offline dating in most respects, and that it is worse is some respects.

    As the stigma of dating online has diminished over the past 15 years, increasing numbers of singles have met romantic partners online.

    Indeed, in the U. Of course, many of the people in these relationships would have met somebody offline, but some would still be single and searching. Indeed, the people who are most likely to benefit from online dating are precisely those who would find it difficult to meet others through more conventional methods, such as at work, through a hobby, or through a friend.

    Singles browse profiles when considering whether to join a given site, when considering whom to contact on the site, when turning back to the site after a bad date, and so forth. The answer is simple: A series of studies spearheaded by our co-author Paul Eastwick has shown that people lack insight regarding which characteristics in a potential partner will inspire or undermine their attraction to him or her see herehereand here.

    The straightforward solution to this problem is for online dating sites to provide singles with the profiles of only a handful of potential partners rather than the hundreds or thousands of profiles that many sites provide.

    But how should dating sites limit the pool? Here we arrive at the second major weakness of online dating: These claims are not supported by any credible evidence. The first is that those very sites that tout their scientific bona fides have failed to provide a shred of evidence that would convince anybody with scientific training.

    The second is that the weight of the scientific evidence suggests that the principles underlying current mathematical matching algorithms—similarity and complementarity—cannot achieve any notable level of success in fostering long-term romantic compatibility.

    It is not difficult to convince people unfamiliar with the scientific literature that a given person will, all else equal, be happier in a long-term relationship with a partner who is similar rather than dissimilar to them in terms of personality and values. Nor is it difficult to convince such people that opposites attract in certain crucial ways. Indeed, a major meta-analytic review of the literature by Matthew Montoya and colleagues in demonstrates that the principles have virtually no impact on relationship quality.

    Similarly, a 23,person study by Portia Dyrenforth and colleagues in demonstrates that such principles account for approximately 0. To be sure, relationship scientists have discovered a great deal about what makes some relationships more successful than others.

    For example, such scholars frequently videotape couples while the two partners discuss certain topics in their marriage, such as a recent conflict or important personal goals. Such scholars also frequently examine the impact of life circumstances, such as unemployment stress, infertility problems, a cancer diagnosis, or an attractive co-worker.

    But algorithmic-matching sites exclude all such information from the algorithm because the only information those sites collect is based on individuals who have never encountered their potential partners making it impossible to know how two possible partners interact and who provide very little information relevant to their future life stresses employment stability, drug abuse history, and the like.

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    So the question is this: Can online dating sites predict long-term relationship success based exclusively on information provided by individuals—without accounting for how two people interact or what their likely future life stressors will be? Well, if the question is whether such sites can determine which people are likely to be poor partners for almost anybody, then the answer is probably yes.

    Indeed, it appears that eHarmony excludes certain people from their dating pool, leaving money on the table in the process, presumably because the algorithm concludes that such individuals are poor relationship material. Given the impressive state of research linking personality to relationship success, it is plausible that sites can develop an algorithm that successfully omits such individuals from the dating pool. But it is not the service that algorithmic-matching sites tend to tout about themselves.

    Rather, they claim that they can use their algorithm to find somebody uniquely compatible with you—more compatible with you than with other members of your sex.

    Based on the evidence available to date, there is no evidence in support of such claims and plenty of reason to be skeptical of them.

    The Scientific Flaws of Online Dating Sites Scientific American

    For millennia, people seeking to make a buck have claimed that they have unlocked the secrets of romantic compatibility, but none of them ever mustered compelling evidence in support of their claims. Unfortunately, that conclusion is equally true of algorithmic-matching sites.

    Without doubt, in the months and years to come, the major sites and their advisors will generate reports that claim to provide evidence that the site-generated couples are happier and more stable than couples that met in another way. For now, we can only conclude that finding a partner online is fundamentally different from meeting a partner in conventional offline venues, with some major advantages, but also some exasperating disadvantages.

    Are you a scientist who specializes in neuroscience, cognitive science, or psychology?

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    And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about? He can be reached at garethideas AT gmail. His research examines self-control and interpersonal relationships, focusing on initial romantic attraction, betrayal and forgiveness, intimate partner violence, and how relationship partners bring out the best versus the worst in us. Her research examines a number of issues about close relationships, including sexuality, love, initiation, and attraction.

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