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A recent paper from the Association of Psychological Science was pretty clear that there's little evidence for any matching algorithm's scientific merit ("no compelling evidence supports matching sites" claims that mathematical algorithms work"), but the OKCupid users I spoke to generally seemed to believe there was something in it -- even if it was just filtering out their polar opposites.
In fact in some cases, the subtext was that it worked a bit too well: "The guy with the highest match percentage that I went on dates with seemed more like a friend, though.
In summary, over four months with identical profile content the subjectively most attractive female avatar had maxed out "her" inbox with 528 messages, while the most handsome male account had received just 38.[pullquote source="Keep Inline]All but the most basic online dating sites include some kind of algorithm to try and partner customers up with someone they'll hit it off with, with varying degrees of scientific hype behind their advertising copy.
A couple of scientific studies come to slightly more critical conclusions, one saying that a third of pictures could be considered misleading, while the other concluding that misinformation was ubiquitous but in a very mild way: an inch added to the height, or a pound taken off the weight.
Anything more obvious than this would of course cause problems when the eventual meetup occurs -- it's easy to overlook someone being an inch shorter than advertised, but night on impossible to successfully hide a five stone weight gain without repercussions.
While these sites vary in terms of features and cost, the basic setup is the same each time: you create a profile, upload a picture and then send out messages to those who seem your type.
As a rule of thumb, women are inundated with messages and replies, while men barely get any, as demonstrated by a fascinating experiment involving dummy accounts on OKCupid here.
We were eerily similar in some ways," one woman confided.