The Algorithm method
Match-making is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on ever since humans realised that teaming up with someone they like would make running the cave a whole lot easier. The process of selection is largely unchanged too: you gather information about a prospective partner, as do they, and if there’s a high level of compatibility you go off and slaughter a mammoth together. Every society – from hunter-gatherer clans, rural villages and right up to sophisticated urban communities – has a huge interest in seeing its individuals matched in love.
That also hasn’t changed and it never will. What has changed is the new ways we can gather and process information about prospective partners. In this technological age where online dating is now the norm, your computer can do a lot of the legwork required in finding romance.
At eharmony, we go beyond the superficial and have developed a system that strives to match people based on their compatibility. We do this by first asking a lot of questions about who you are, what you like and don’t like, what are your values and the type of person you want to share your life with. We can then see how each of these dimensions are predictive of a happy and successful relationship.
The more information we gather, the more accurate the picture of you becomes, and the greater probability there is we can help you find that special person to share your life. What sets eharmony apart is the depth of research we have done over more than 35 years to understand what makes couples work. We have studied dating and interviewed more than 200,000 happy couples around the world.
The result of all this research is a clear, accurate picture of compatibility and what sparks attraction between two people. We found that it is similarities, not differences, that help predict a more satisfying relationship.
Using that data we developed an algorithm – our Compatibility Matching System – which helps us match people with characteristics similar to those couples from our National Studies of Marriage who had indicated they were most satisfied.
The algorithm uses the factor analysis method – it analyses the information that singles provide in their dating profiles, and users are only matched if the interaction of their questionnaire patterns are similar. To put it another way, our algorithm finds you prospective matches based on our compatibility models.
The word “algorithm” implies that science is stepping into a space previously occupied by the heart. To some people it can sound a little impersonal, a touch cold.
But there’s nothing geeky about. The word algorithm means “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer”.
We all use algorithms all the time in our decision-making processes. For example, if your friends know you are a member of Greenpeace they will not set you up on a blind date with a whale-boat captain, will they? They have applied an algorithm to the “problem” of getting you a date. eharmony does the same thing, only using the power of computing to filter through thousands of prospective dates.
This is not a marketing gimmick. This is not using fancy words to pretend we’re doing some sort of love alchemy. Our model works because it is based on real research and uses good technology to increase your chances of finding a person you’d be happy to spend time with – and that’s a great outcome.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.
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