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Maybe Your Match Isn't Your Match, OKCupid Alters Results on Purpose
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Maybe Your Match Isn't Your Match, OKCupid Alters Results on Purpose

You've finally accepted the fact that someone is not your type, when you stumble across an article that says your d...

Maybe Your Match Isn't Your Match, OKCupid Alters Results on Purpose

You've finally accepted the fact that someone is not your type, when you stumble across an article that says your dating site has messed around with your head by giving you incorrect results and leading you to believe the love of your life doesn't exist. That's exactly the story with OKCupid, only the dating website did this intentionally so that it could  see how people reacted and match that to the website's algorithm.

 

OKCupid's founder, Christian Rudder, explained in a blog post that the website has, in fact, experimented on people. OKCupid uses an algorithm that checks two people's compatibility, based on their interests, aspirations, wishes, and hopes. What the website did was alter the results of the algorithm to see if it really works.

 

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Let's see how OKCupid's experiments went:

  • OKCupid's first experiment was removing all photos from the website. What they found was that people responded more (44% more) to first messages, had more meaning conversations, and exchanged contact details faster.

  • The second experiment OKCupid conducted was assessing a candidate's personality by their looks. Turns out, it works! The more attractive a person's profile picture is, the less the other content matters.

  • In the final experiment, OKCupid told incompatible matches (30% match) that they were very compatible (90% match). As it turns out, these people became more interested in each other than they did when they were told they weren’t compatible. The inverse experiment was also conducted: highly-compatible couples were told they were incompatible, and the result was lower interest.

 

The result of the final experiment only proved that the power of suggestion is real, thus OKCupid concluded that their algorithm might stink.

 

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According to OKCupid, regardless of the result, people react just as they would if they had known the truth. Christian Rudder says the “mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth.” And he makes no apologies for the experiments, saying “guess what, everybody: if you use the internet, you're the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That's how websites work.”

 

OKCupid's experiment on human beings comes only a month after Facebook experimented on their users, when about 700,000 feeds were filled with negative posts because the social network tweaked their algorithm.

 

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