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James Houran, Ph.D.

Hi, Mark:

An important point of clarification warrants posting. eHarmony and other "compatibility testing" oriented services did not pioneer computer matchmaking. Such matchmaking was shown on TV as early as 1956, and then there was the computer dating craze through the 1970s and 80s. I discussed this in my recent article in the North American Journal of Psychology (2004, Vol. 6, pp. 507-526).

Dr. Glenn Wilson (UK) deserves much -- if not most -- of the credit for streamlining this approach and making it commercial. Kudos to Dr. Wilson for also publishing the academic research that formed the foundation of his compatibility testing. However, as we saw in the recent LA City Beat article, more scrutiny is forthcoming on these tests. This is long overdue, and I'm stunned that these claims of science have not been investigated sooner! Now individuals or companies making unsubstantiated claims of "scientific matchmaking" will need to offer consumers real evidence that its testing is reliable and valid, as opposed to the typical marketing ploy of selectively showcasing only positive testimonials.


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