Do Compatibility Tests Work? - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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Fernando Ardenghi

"... Compatibility testing is a fascinating and daunting, developing field. ....."

daunting? == discouraging through fear = / Spanish / desalentador, desmoralizante

"Do Compatibility Tests Work?"

They do not work as they should.
I had discovered that many sites are using simple/multiple_regression relationship_satisfaction_equations so the whole precision is less than you could had achieved searching by your own!!!! (Parship, Ulteem, PerfectMatch, YahooPersonals, eHarmony?, Chemistry? and others). It also seems that what is important in attracting people to one another may not be important in making couples happy, i.e. attraction science and long term romantic relationships are different things.

Have you noticed that, the online dating site launched during 2001 by Drs. Wilson and Cousins is a complete fiasco? The matching equation is as simple as C.Q. == 172 – (3 x D)!!!

" ... the testing firm of has developed a computerized “physical attraction test” that finds photographs of individuals from a pool of online daters that a person will find attractive based on that person’s preferences mapped from a set of prototype faces and body types. .... "
- That "physical attraction test" never, never and never worked as expected.
- made terrible math&statistical mistakes!!!

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

James Houran


What do you base your comment on that "weAttract's physical attraction test never worked as expected?" Although it was not perfect (nothing ever is), I know many people who thought it was very accurate. Also, I would not say that failed because their test did work well enough. I disagree with the simplistic equation used by Cybersuitors, but at least Dr. Wilson conducted and published peer-reviewed research into his ideas -- and that is more than I can say for nearly every other service.

All in all, good compatibility tests do work as they should as long as online daters use them as they should!


James Houran, Ph.D.
Online Dating Magazine

Fernando Ardenghi

Oh Dr. Houran, seems you do not discovered yet that many Compatibility Tests are only *fueled* by Marketing Policies/Strategies and not by serious scientific evidence.

Do you know when
- Parship
- Ulteem
- YahooPersonals
- Chemistry
- PerfectMatch
- eHarmony
- Mary
- True
- other online dating sites
are going to publish serious scientific evidence (papers) proving that their matching methods work???

weAttract's physical attraction test is a complete fiasco. You can see PHYSICAL ATTRACTION MATCHING at page 22 from
Please do ask Team why it was discretely buried during 2004.

That method never worked with MUCH MORE PRECISION than you could achieve searching by your own, just because it needs a common_sense_feature: ALMOST ALL the photographs taken with the same quality, distance, light, position, etc to successfully achieve MUCH MORE PRECISION than searching by your own (not with retouched photos).
- persons trend to overestimate their qualities, they do not say the exact truth; e.g. all women are beautiful, intelligent women, it is the same to tell lies.
- a woman with brown eyes but if she uses blue contact lenses she will say that she has blue eyes, not blue contact lenses.
- a woman with brown hair but if she uses her hair red dyed she will say that she has red hair, not red dyed hair.
-a woman with blue eyes appears to have grey/brown eyes if the photo is small.

I also think that weAttract's physical attraction test failed because some persons think a good teeth is a valuable topic of physical appearance and it could not be "completely" evaluated using photos. Please see
"A person's teeth may influence whether they will be successful in life, say a team of social psychologists." Source: BBC News Online, 27/12/2005

Compatibility Tests need two steps:
First: to assess/measure different variables using a test.
Second: to calculate compatibility.

Dr. Houran you wrote " failed because their test did work well enough."
You must be joking, Cybersuitors failed because they used a simple linear regression equation.

Dr. Houran you wrote " failed because their test did work well enough."
If their test did work well enough, have you noticed they use the "similarity principle" to match persons? "The Compatibility Quotient (CQ) is an index of similarity within established or potential couples across a variety of domains known to predict long-term relationship success."
WILSON, G.D. & COUSINS, J.M. (2003). Partner similarity and relationship satisfaction: development of a compatibility quotient. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 18, 161 – 170.

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]


I went on over 100 eharmony dates until I found my current girlfriend.

I think I could strike up 100 conversations with wome at Starbucks, and have the same odds.

Hence, the reason I started It's Just Coffee

James Houran

Hi Fernando,

I always enjoy our debates and discussions! I know all too well that many compatibility tests are crap. In fact, my team has presented and published several papers about this fact. I am surprised you were not aware of this.

Having said that, this does not mean that all compatibility tests lack scientific credibility. The CQ Test from was an excellent start, and the field should be grateful to Wilson and Cousins for publishing that research. I also do not count Cybersuitors as a failure. Neither you nor I know exactly why that service was not the commercial success it was probably expected to be, but I do know that Wilson and Cousins were a huge success by publishing their pioneering research and then taking another step to publish an excellent lay book on the subject of compatibility. However, Wilson and Cousins never stated that their CQ was the "be all end all" or that it could not be improved upon. This is why they shared data with me and Dr. Rense Lange to reanalyze with advanced Item Response Theory mathematics -- collaborative efforts like this are a sure sign of academic responsibility on the part of Wilson and Cousins.

What we found has changed our notion of what romantic compatibility is and how it should be measured. The resulting research was presented at an APS Conference and received a fabulous response. Again, I am surprised you did not know this. That presentation demonstrated once again that the notion of "strict similarity" is not the best predictor of compatibility. It's time the field let this idea go that compatibility is either strict similarity or strict complementarity. We are light years ahead of that apparent dilemma!

Finally, the compatibility tests and models of compatibility of which my team has helped create have been published in peer-reviewed journals! Of course, I can't say the same for others but it is misleading to say that no good work in compatibility science has been published or used in testing. My thanks to Wilson and Cousins, Mark Thompson's group at weAttract and Ilona Jerabek's group at for setting the stage for this new era of compatibility science.


James Houran, Ph.D.
Online Dating Magazine

Fernando Ardenghi

Hi Dr. Houran!!!

I also enjoy our debates and discussions!

" .... That presentation demonstrated once again that the notion of *strict similarity* is not the best predictor of compatibility."

I remember I asked you last January:

How Dr. Rense Lange and you measure/calculate similarity in personality traits between prospective mates ?

and you answered
"No, we did not invent a new quantitative method to assess similarity -- we simply use the statistical gold standard of modern test theory as everyone should!"

Dr. Houran, did you use only a linear regression equation to assess similarity?

Why don't you repeat your research using the 16PF5 test?
The 16PF5 is a normative & well known test used by job recruiters, ready from 1949, available in different languages and no other online dating site is using it!!!
The 5 after the PF means it also includes the Big-5 as well!

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

Fernando Ardenghi

"Keep your eye on and also."

What happened with LTR? Never launched! is Plenty_Of_Tests .... for .... entertainment purposes only

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

James Houran

Hi Fernando,

The 16PF5 is arguably a misnomer -- the "traits" assessed by the 16PF may well be subsumed by the Big 5 model. In any event, my team would be delighted to test the effectiveness of the 16PF in predicting relationship quality. Please send me raw data, Fernando!

Also, the 16PF should be abandoned by job recruiters -- as should any personality test. The SIOP just released results of a study that demonstrate again that personality is not a significant predictor of workplace performance.

Personality also seems basically irrelevant in predicting relationship quality, since couples can show wide variance in personality and yet still be satisfied and stable.


James Houran, Ph.D.
Online Dating Magazine

Fernando Ardenghi

Dear Dr. Houran:

Very pleased to contact you once again! It is always wonderful reading your posts!

Seems you had been reading


Have you seen
" .... personality constructs have proven ability to explain and predict work attitudes, behaviors, job performance, and outcomes."

You also wrote "Personality also seems basically irrelevant in predicting relationship quality, since couples can show wide variance in personality and yet still be satisfied and stable."

How can you know that if there is NO scientific paper published YET that takes into account temporal patterns of relationship variables through the years?
i.e. a couple could be in a Early stage of temporal patterns or Middle stage of temporal patterns or Last stage of temporal patterns when analyzed, and researchers do not have any tool to know that!!!

Moreover most advanced researchers only used the Big 5 (or a Big 7 - WeAttract) to assess personality and they also used a simple/multiple_linear_regression_equation or a logistic_regresion_equation (for big databases, over 1,000,000 persons logistic_regresion_equations will work the same as a linear_regression) to calculate similarity between personality patterns reaching the (wrong) conclusion 'Personality is irrelevant in predicting relationship quality'.

My effort is directed to prove that temporal patterns of relationship variables may indeed play a significant role between prospective mates -> Last stage of temporal patterns: if only high level on personality* similarity* between mates is the core of relationship stability and satisfaction == Dyadic Success for 26_and_more_years_old_persons interested in serious dating.

personality*: measured with the 16PF5 normative test in different languages (no other actual online dating site is using it!).
similarity*: calculated using quantum math equations with the quantitative method I had invented, named LIFEPROJECT METHOD.
Example for the matching algorithm I had invented
- Ensemble (whole set of different valid possibilities): 1 * E16 with 16PF5
- Precision: better than 0,00000001% with Self-Adjustment
3 most compatible persons in a 100,000 persons database,
12 most compatible persons in a 1,000,000 persons database,
48 most compatible persons in a 10,000,000 persons database,
- Results are displayed with 2 integers + 8 decimals, like 92.55033557% +/- 0,00000001%

The World Population (WP) is nearly 6,400 millions persons == 6.4 * E9
16PF5's Ensemble == 1 * E16
WP / Ensemble == (6.4 * E9) / (1 * E16) == 6.4 * E-7 == 64 * E-6
i.e. All World Population is 64 micro part of the Ensemble!!!

I hope that sooner I could reach an agreement with an actual online dating site or other partner to world launch the method I had invented, also I will send the raw data you need to analyze!!!

Anyway I think lot of persons will be interested in meeting persons like them - with nearly the same personality pattern.

Kindest Regards,

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

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