There is no proof that the algorithms used by these sites, which claim to find you a more compatible partner, are any more effective than random pairings, Benjamin Karney and four co-authors say in the report. In fact, sometimes online dating can actually hurt romantic outcomes because customers rule out potential partners based on two-dimensional data.
There is also a disconnect between what people find attractive in person and from a profile, according to the report. That means that someone could find a person could reject a profile but still find the person attractive on a date.
That means that millions of Americans who use the billion-dollar-industry are being duped, according to the paper:
In sum, online dating sites frequently claim that people will achieve better romantic outcomes when seeking partners through their site than through conventional offline dating (or through other dating sites)...Our investigation suggests, however, that dating sites have failed to provide any compelling evidence for these claims. As such, the claims simply cannot be accepted as valid.
Because customers pay a substantial fee for dating site services, they should be held to the same standard as other businesses and back up their claims, Karney told LA Weekly. He plans to send his study to a regulatory agency.
Now check out OK Cupid's 10 surprising facts about sex >
More From Business Insider