How does eHarmony work? - The complete review of eHarmony and it's matchmaking process

Dating websites have been on the internet for over a decade. Most will ask you to fill out a quick form - asking some information about you and about the partner you're looking for - and then show you a list of members that match the criterion. You then send them mails hoping someone will reply back. Few usually do and a disillusioned user moves on to the next dating site.

Click here to sign up for free at eHarmony

eHarmony uses a method that is a derivation from the new wisdom of crowds called 'Super Crunching'. Unlike conventional dating sites that match users based on their stated preferences, eHarmony tries to figure out the sort of person you really are. Then they match you with the people you're likely to be most compatible with, as per their data. eHarmony accesses a huge database of couples to determine what sort of personalities are happier together in the long run.

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Dr Neil Clark Warren, the founder of eHarmony studied over 5000 profiles of married couples and developed a predictive model of compatibility. He was able to uncover a set of principles that seemed to consistently appear in successful marriages. There are 29 different variables related to a person's emotional temperament, social style, cognitive mode and relationship skills that he found co-related with success in a marriage and since then he has been helping singles choose the perfect partner. He has patented this method and tens of thousands of marriages have resulted as a result of his method.

On eHarmony, each user is asked to complete an elaborate item relationship questionnaire. This measures over 29 key factors of compatibility. After this the factor scores of the user are compared to existing benchmarks. This helps determine which compatibility models are statistically valid for them. Then these models are used to compute compatibility coefficients for each logically possible pairing in the user pool. Finally, eHarmony users decide which of their matches they want to communicate with, either using a supportive and anonymous system within eHarmony, or via direct e-mail.

eHarmony for its system of matchmaking seems to rely on the statisitical proceedure of 'regression'. This is a statistical proceedure that compiles raw historical data, tabulating it and analyzing how various causal factors influence one single variable of interest. In case of eHarmony the objective is to know how compatible a couple is expected to be. The causal factors are several attributes of a personality including self-concept, emotional status, passion, social style, character, kindness, dominance, sociability, intellect, humor, sexual passion and much else.

The regression technique is an age-old one and it was developed by Sir Francis Galton,a half-cousin of Charles Darwin, he was an English Victorian polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician. Galton made a discovery of new statistical techniques for describing and understanding data. Galton invented the use of the regression line, and was the first to describe and explain the common phenomenon of regression toward the mean, which he first observed in his experiments on the size of the seeds of successive generations of sweet peas. The eHarmony methods has been made possible with the help of regression, a statistical technique introduced by Sir Francis Galton.

eHarmony has a formula to predict the preference of people with great accuracy. Their technique is to match people on the basis of their characteristics or aspects of their personality that they may not be aware of or may not expressly state. They may match you with someone you think you don't have a chance of a success with. Yet a relationship with that person may work out very well. Our conscious choices are often not what we need as we see with the spiralling divorce rates in most developed countries and a service like eHarmony goes several steps ahead to deal with this. eHarmony tries to match you with people who're similar to you in many ways - partners with similar intelligence levels, who're as ambitious, have matching energy levels, as spiritual and as curious. This 'similarity model' has worked well.

eHarmony has presented statistical data to the American Psychological Society to establish that married couples who met through their dating website are much happier than couples who met through other means and have been together for a similar length of time.

There have been lawsuits against eHarmony for differentiating against gays and lesbians. Their dating website doesn't let you sign up if you're not straight. eHarmony has claimed that their entire research has been on heterosexual couples and they have not analyzed relationships of same-sex couples. So are unable to offer their service to gays and lesbians. Last year eHarmony lost a lawsuit that alleged they were differentiating between their clients on the basis of their sexual preference. They have promised to start a new service that will cater to gays. It is expected to launch sometime later this year.

Meanwhile eHarmony remains an excellent choice if you're receptive to their way of matchmaking. Initial sign up is free.