Listen to Larry’s CBS News/CNET interview with eHarmony.com CEO Neil Clark Warren
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 35% of couples married between 2005 and 2012 met online and that these couples were slightly more likely to stay together and “associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married,” according to the report.
The study, which was led by John T. Cacioppo from the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience was based a Harris Interactive survey completed by 19,131 married respondents. The study was commissioned by eHarmony but was vetted by independent statisticians who “oversaw and verified the statistical analyses based on a pre-specified plan for data analyses. Prior to the survey, an agreement with eHarmony was reached “to ensure that any results bearing on eHarmony.com would not affect the publication of the study. Having read the entire report (I have a doctorate in education with a survey research specialty), I can say that it looks very legitimate.
Longer and happier marriages
The survey also found that marriages that began online “were slightly less likely to result in a marital breakup (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married.” Just under 6% (5.96%) of those who met their spouse online had divorced or separated compared to 7.67% of those who met offline.
eHarmony CEO “shocked” by percentage of online introductions resulting in marriage
In an interview, eHarmony CEO and Founder, Neil Clark Warren, said that he commissioned the survey because he “wanted to see how eHarmony was doing and I also wanted to see generally how much people were using the Internet to explore the possibility of their getting married and getting matched to someone.” He said he and his colleagues were “shocked when we found 35% of all of those marriages involved people who had met on the Internet.” As per satisfaction rate (eHarmony scored highest), he claimed that “we do a better job of introducing people than people off the Internet.” He pointed out that “we make them go through five stages of communication before they even get the other person’s name. He also said that dating sites provide “a pool of possibilities to date and eventually marry that’s much much larger than you can assemble on your own.”
This post first appeared on Forbes.com