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Deciphering the Brain's Love Map

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the x-marks-the-hookup dept.

Entertainment 255

victor7 writes "Business Week Online is running a story about a new entrant into the online dating service market called Chemistry.com which has a unique approach to trying to match up subscribers. The goal is to try to programmatically decipher the subscriber's brain's 'love map' which they believe represents that chemistry that people have with each other." From the article: "There are other personality types as well that are based on chemistry. There are questions that tell us if you are good at abstract thinking, or quick to make decisions and act on them. It's not exactly like I'm going to light a fire between the two of you. It just raises the chances. Most people fall in love because they have shared values, but they stay in love because their personalities mesh. We're trying to increase the changes of finding that spark and joy and excitement you feel when personalities mesh."

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255 comments

not sure one CAN predict by formula (3, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787648)

From the slashdot article:

Most people fall in love because they have shared values, but they stay in love because their personalities mesh

I remember, but can't cite, an article or study that pretty much shows the odds of people staying together are pretty much the same in marriages where couples fall in love (e.g., in the United States), or in arranged marriages (many cultures), even in arranged marriages where the betrothed are extremely young (sometimes as young as 12 or 13), and even in arranged marriages with large age disparities.

First, does anyone else remember any similar studies? I've found "staying together" seems to have much to do with chemistry, and little observable similarities and tastes correlate. Just curious. What are others' observations?

Re: not sure one CAN predict by formula (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787684)

I'm not speaking from experience, but it seems to me that 2 people will stay together if they want to stay together more than they want anything else.

If they want something else more, then they may eventually choose that thing over staying together. And they'll split up.

I think I cracked the code on relationship longevity. Anyone want to buy my book? It'll say basically the same thing, but it'll be 200 pages and it'll cost you $15.

Re: not sure one CAN predict by formula (3, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787702)

I'm not speaking from experience, but it seems to me that 2 people will stay together if they want to stay together more than they want anything else.

Or they each feel that it's too much work to go out and start over in a relationship.

I'll do you one better (4, Interesting)

James_Aguilar (890772) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787729)

I thought that the odds were much BETTER for staying together in the arranged marriage couples. However, the source of this cohesion is disputed: some say that it is because of societal pressures on couples that would otherwise get divorce, others say that it's because the couple understands that what makes a good marriage is not the initial attraction but the actions and kindness that sustain everyday life.

Respect. (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787797)

I remember, but can't cite, an article or study that pretty much shows the odds of people staying together are pretty much the same in marriages where couples fall in love (e.g., in the United States), or in arranged marriages (many cultures), even in arranged marriages where the betrothed are extremely young (sometimes as young as 12 or 13), and even in arranged marriages with large age disparities.

I'd suspect that it has to do with people recognizing the inherent good and worth (no, not financially) in another human being, and respecting them. When you respect your significant other / spouse...even if you're different people, you make compromises and such, and the relationship survives.

yes but (5, Insightful)

3l1za (770108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787805)

I remember, but can't cite, an article or study that pretty much shows the odds of people staying together
You're disregarding obvious cultural differences between residents of the US and residents of a small town in India.

As I understand in India there is or at least has historically been a very strong taboo on divorce. This might account for why as many of these folks stay together as those conjoined by "love marriages." But anyway I think the numbers for arranged marriages staying together are much, much higher due to the near impossibility of obtaining a divorce.

A 13-year old betrothed to a 60-year old cannot actually be thought to have the same opportunity for divorce as a rich Manhattan female attorney.

Re:not sure one CAN predict by formula (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787996)

I don't think we can arbitrarily compare "love" with arranged marriage or any other unions. There are many variables in play, such as cultural and familial pressure, religious teachings, and in more cases than we'd like to admit, submissive behavior.

"Love" often takes the passenger seat to life's innumerable hypocrisies.

do you guys... (0, Offtopic)

la_migra (905024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787651)

...remember when slashdot had actual stories and editors who didn't abuse their readers?

Re:do you guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787835)

...remember when slashdot had actual stories and editors who didn't abuse their readers?

That's nothing I can remember back in the day when /. didn't have piss ass little weenies bitching about stories rather than contributing or just shutting the fuck up.

How the hell (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787664)

did a nerd domain name like "chemistry.com" got registered first by a dating service company?

Re:How the hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787707)

It didn't. It was squatted for years and years, and somebody finally bought it.

Re:How the hell (1)

AngstAndGuitar (732149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787732)

They offered to get the nerd domain owner(s) SOs.
Easily accomplished by skewing results of the other members, who will follow the skewed results, even if the whole thing weren't poppycock, (and it is)

programatic (4, Interesting)

AngstAndGuitar (732149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787666)

Programaticaly created/discovered love is meaningless. We need to dispel the mistique of computers and tech, or they become a new religion. People seeking a website where they would have previously seen a sothsayer. I feel it would be dehumanizing for a program to narrow down potential selections, especialy for it to claim to do so based on a programatic psychological analisys. Many of my best friends are people who's "chemistry" I'm sure I would never match to.

Re:programatic (4, Funny)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787679)

"Many of my best friends are people who's "chemistry" I'm sure I would never match to."

Which is precicely why you're just friends. =)

Sooth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787734)

Sooth, I say!

Re:programatic (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787994)

In olden times, professional matchmaking was a skilled trade. The matchmaker was supposed to find your someone compatable who you could build a family with. I've seen some studies that showed that people matched by matchmakers tended to have happier marriages.

It seems that there is SOMETHING there. I think if a person can learn to "match" people with greater then average success, we ought to be able to program a computer to do the same. The real trick is explicitly figuring out what the matchmaker doesn't understand well enough to make verbal so that we can program a computer to do it.

Re:programatic (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788102)

We need to dispel the mistique of computers and tech, or they become a new religion.

Man, but you do realise you're on Slashdot right now, no??! What the hell are you doing here then, this is one of the places with the highest technology worship rate anywhere!!

Please take your anti-technology rants elsewhere!

Re:programatic (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788159)

I agree. Answering questions only provides so much information and also assumes the answers are honest and not limiting (like multiple choice).

I have to wonder, barring major secret advances in psychology, what chemistry.com knows that others in psychology don't know about love. Eharmony (sp?) also purports to test "31 dimensions of love for greater compatibility" or some such. I mean, really, "dimensions?" Talk about a buzzword, why not just say criteria?

I think the most significant application pyschology going on behind these websites is the marketing to draw the users. The more users, the more active the site. The more active the site, the more sucessful it seems. The more sucessful, the more revenue.

Like ebay or any other activity dependent website. And I have nothing against that except that it seems likely these places promise more than it can deliver. Like any other salesman.

science (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788191)

Have you ever taken an MBTI test?

I think chemistry.com could be wildly successful just by matching people with their MBTI supplimentals.

Advertisement? (3, Insightful)

imunfair (877689) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787672)

I don't know, it sounds more like an advertisement for Chemistry.com and less like anything scientific to me.

Re:Advertisement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787681)

Yup, my thoughts exactly.

Re:Advertisement? (1)

6ame633k (921453) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787839)

maaaaybeeee they want us to rip it apart! It is pretty ridiculous

How about this? (2, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788022)

First off http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/2 2/0248247&tid=191&tid=14 [slashdot.org]

She's an anthropologist who implies that she can tell if you have high levels of serotonin just by asking you 100 questions about your past relationships and such.

From TFA:
One of the questions on Chemistry.com asks how long your index finger is compared to your ring finger. What's the significance of that?
We are measuring how much testosterone you were exposed to in the womb. There is new data that shows that the brain is patterned before birth. The length of the finger can give some clues as to how assertive they might be.


Now .... http://www.4-men.org/testosterone/testosterone-and -fingers.html [4-men.org] A survey of the finger lengths of over 100 male and female academics at the University of Bath by senior Psychology lecturer Dr Mark Brosnan has found that those men teaching hard science like mathematics and physics tend to have index fingers as long as their ring fingers, a marker for unusually high estrogen levels for males.

It also found the reverse: those male academics with longer ring fingers than index fingers - the usual male pattern - tended not to be in science but in social science subjects such as psychology and education.

The study also found that these hormonal levels may make male scientists less likely to have children.


That's some damn good science stuff!

But (that's a joke, son!) there may be more to the reasoning why male scientists don't have children.....

Finger length is linked to sexual orientation! http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/odds_and_oddities/fi nger_length_ratios.htm [flatrock.org.nz]

Great. This seems to be the more of the crap "science" so popular today. Just because two characteristics appear in one group does NOT mean that there is any correlation between those characteristics.

Dumb. (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787677)

So, this advertisement in Business Week gets mentioned on Slashdot for more advertsing, huh? Business Week - the heralded scientific publication that it is. *yawn*

The concept of "love mapping" is just dumb. I'll tell you what is required - a good looking chick and a good looking guy - preferably with money, power or fame - all three in best of circumstances.

All the other bullshit is just that - bullshit. People can justify their attractions or what they desire in someone all they want, but guys deep down don't want the smart witty girl - unless she also happens to be totally hot. The girl doesn't want the sensitive feminine guy - she wants the hot guy with money or power and charisma.

It's really not that hard to figure out. I guess if you're ugly and have no money, power or charisma, then you try to hope there is some other random element involved, but you know deep down that you're kidding yourselves.

Re:Dumb. (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787827)

I guess if you're ugly and have no money, power or charisma, then you try to hope there is some other random element involved, but you know deep down that you're kidding yourselves.

Why didn't you include yourself in that statement? Seriously, judging by the content of your post you have absolutely no idea of what men and women want. I've been with the same woman for six years now and I'll be damned if good-looks kept us alive. And neither of us have money -- we work together for that.

When you have forgiven the world (and all the attractive men) for not giving you a loving girlfriend, I'm sure your view on this will change very quickly.

Re:Dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13788017)

Sorry kiddo, your fantasy views don't mesh with the reality of contemporary dating. I'm sure you and your butter-troll fat-fuck of a wife can be a testimonial to your beliefs in your own sick delusions, but shit don't fly that way on the rest of Earth, comprendez?

Re:Dumb. (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788058)

Can the anonymous coward tough-guy posting to Slashdot.org on the Internet regarding the dating scene please step up and inform me of the ways of the dating world? I guess I missed out on this 'contemporary' age of dating, seeing as I missed it just six years ago!

Oh and I suppose 150 pounds is a butter-troll fat-fuck in this contemporary age?

Re:Dumb. (1)

Phil Urich (841393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787995)

guys deep down don't want the smart witty girl - unless she also happens to be totally hot.


Well, maybe that's true. But that doesn't make everything else bullshit; there are a lot of girls that could be considered "hot"; the subset that is equally outstandingly smart and witty is much smaller. Actually, I've personally found that the two categories do seem to often coincide (as in, the smartest and wittiest ones are also the most attractive), and I think it's the non-physical factors casting an extra flattering light on the already formidible physical ones.

(and hell, there are ugly, poor, uncharismatic people with spouses, so there's gotta be something else at work sometimes, whatever it is).

Re:Dumb. (1)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788081)

Some of us find sensitive feminine guys hot.

Guys who are "hot" in the generic mainstream way that you are probably referring to are pretty boring as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I'm a closeted bisexual or something, but I definitely DO like (and have dated) guys whose femininity and masculinity are relatively balanced.

Then again, this may just be because I'm a geek. I like to stick to my own kind -- ie. nonthreatening intelligent tall skinny geek guys. Dating a "hot guy with money or power and charisma" would be like dating a whole different species, and beastiality really isn't my thing. Besides... I'm only moderately pretty myself, so I would hate to be with a guy who was way more attractive than I was.

I would like to see more actual scientific studies about what makes people attracted to each other, though... and more research into what love actually is would be interesting too. People keep telling me that I'll just "know" when I fall in love, but in my very very limited experience, that really isn't the case.

Hollywood (5, Insightful)

CorporalKlinger (871715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787686)

"Most people fall in love because they have shared values, but they stay in love because their personalities mesh"

That's strange... Hollywood actors / actresses seem to have both shared values (a love of money / entertainment) and shared personalities (general arrogance and a belief of personal entitlement). It makes me wonder why it seems like none of their relationships last longer than the milk in my refrigerator.

Re:Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787737)

on another note, I have found that the less fat content of milk you buy, the colder it gets.

I have decided to skip dating, and continue my research on things like this instead.

Trimethylxanthine (3, Funny)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787688)

I agree. I've measured a correspondence in my own interests with peaks of C8H10N4O2, but sometimes this chemical is overwhelming and I have to order decaf.

Shouldn't we just (2, Informative)

rock217 (802738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787689)

Scrap the whole "article" thing and just make this an ad for the online dating service market called Chemistry.com?

Re:Shouldn't we just (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787913)

It's not a very successful advertisement -- you usually target your ads towards your potential customers. Now Slashdot readership is overwhelmingly (but not totally) male, right? I have never heard a guy use the term "chemistry" to describe whatever it is a girl means when she says "chemistry". Actually, the only time I have ever heard a girl use the term "chemistry" is when she says something to the effect of "The chemistry just isn't there". So, as a guy, I don't really have a positive association with the term in the first place.

Right. That's about all I can say on the subject without depressing myself.

Re:Shouldn't we just (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788075)

Right, because whe a guy says something to the effect of "The chemistry just isn't there", it means that he had an accident with a pair of scissors and cutting pants while wearing them...

Computer called me gay (5, Funny)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787692)

I signed up for a similar study at Harvard.

Stupid algorithm is full of BS. Says I should be dating men.

I hate you, incompetent Harvard science faculty. M.I.T. is forever!

Hunka hunka burnin' love (2, Funny)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787694)

It's not exactly like I'm going to light a fire between the two of you.
That is, of course, your profiles show that you're both pyromaniacs with uncontrollable lust at the sight of an open flame. In that case, we may be able to arrange something...

"trying to increase the changes of finding that" (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787703)

This is the first time I've ever posted for an editorial related reason, but when I read this, it just stood out ...

Re:"trying to increase the changes of finding that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13788217)

Too bad nobody read between the words, even if you repeat it infinitely many times.

changes changes chances changes changes changes chances changes changes changes chances changes changes chances changes chances changes ...

Love is bullshit (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787710)

It's something we make up to excuse our lust, or as a reason to hang around with someone rather than be lonely. It's infatuation masquerading as something greater. It's obsession pretending to be something beautiful. It's so companies can peddle cards and flowers and diamonds and whatnot. It's so people can sit around and feel better than others. It's a weapon of mass destruction, and used every day to try and make those immune to it's fetid embrace feel like shit. It's a thin layer of brittle spackle of the gaping voids in all your lives.

Yeah, yeah... flamebait. You mod me down because you know I speak the hard truth.

Re:Love is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787888)

+1 Insightful

Re:Love is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787923)

Let me guess, you're single?

Re:Love is bullshit (1)

sunwolf (853208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787988)

You say all that about love as if it were a bad thing. Love has the ultimate cause of keeping the species going, but it's not like that's a bad thing...unless you see it as a bad thing. In which case, there are irreconcilable differences between your point of view and mine. And if others can capitalize on it, so what? They just provide more ways to express love, which means more gene-swapping and more continuation. I'm sorry if your feelings are hurt by being "immune" to love, but...if that's the case, then why does it hurt? And as for the gaping void in my life, I won't admit I have one, because I don't necessarily admit that life is anything but a purposeless hole for energy to sink into anyway. That's like saying I have a perforation in my hole.

Mutual Respect (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787714)

I would argue that mutual respect one key to a long-term relationship and that tests like this could help determine
  1. what qualities a person has that are respectable

  2. what qualities a person considers in bestowing respect.

It could be intelligence, knowledge on any of a number of dimensions, social grace, physical strength, affection, aggressiveness, niceness, humor, ambition, earning-power, etc.

Disclaimer: I've been married nearly 22 years so that means I either know what I'm talking about or have an insufficient sample size to comment on this.

Coming up... (4, Funny)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787716)

Next week we have an article on a phrenological study of love and the shape of your head...

..er, the size of your lumps

...hmmm maybe not.

My thoughts on internet dating (1)

ScottSCY (798415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787727)

My thoughts can be summed up here: http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=1396 [somethingawful.com] . Seriously, I've never heard of anyone who dated someone they met online and had it end up well.

I'm happy. (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787851)

Never huh? Let me fix that for you. We've been together four years now and I say mine turned out well. (YMMV)

In the pursuit of strictest accuracy though, it should be noted that we met by chatting, not through a dating site. I believe that it gave us a chance to meet we would have otherwise have missed. We were also both honest with each other since each expected to just find someone to talk to rather than a date.

chemistry? (5, Insightful)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787749)

"Most people fall in love because they have shared values, but they stay in love because their personalities mesh"

Hmm. Sounds like a weenie in marketing came up with that. Wonder how long it is until he gets his own daytime TV show, or a website like that wiener with his Men are from Mercury and Women are from Uranus [marsvenus.com] or whatever...

Someone once wisely said that compatibility is really about adaptability. People go into relationships expecting "compatibility". What people really need to do is learn how to adapt to other's personalities. Even if you have met someone with whom you are compatible you will have to constantly adjust your personality so that you can stay in tune with this person. People do change after all.

Also, if people do not have a sense of commitment things will fall apart once times get tough. Our society in general looks down on commitment as being old fashioned. Maybe that's why our divorce rate is 50%. Chemistry.com won't change that and I have to suspect will go the way of webvan.com.

Re:chemistry? (1)

Your Pal Dave (33229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787803)

Hmm. Sounds like a weenie in marketing came up with that. Wonder how long it is until he gets his own daytime TV show, or a website like that wiener with his Men are from Mercury and Women are from Uranus or whatever...


No, no, no!

Women are from Venus.

Farts are from Uranus.

Jeez...

programmatically love me (1)

bigmauler (905356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787756)

Why oh why does this not surprise me. That " programmatically decipher the subscriber's brain's 'love map'" is on slashdot. I think the reason nerds sometimes find love hard to get is because we are going about it wrong. "Hey baby, your love map is compatible with mine, lets compile." Maybe I just think its a tad strange..but we can hope right? :) (insert comment about modding my post down in hopes it will simply be modded up)

Leaps of Faith (4, Interesting)

lookn4Change (818760) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787770)

Have we not learned from our ventures in weather forecasting, that complex systems, love and relationships, in this case, cannot be predicted through the force of equations.

I prefer more traditional methods, the tea leaves say that I will have a good day tomorrow!

But... (2, Funny)

psychgeek (838231) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787773)

Dating?!? ...I'm a Slashdot reader, you insensitive clod!

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787935)

Relax, they could tell you were a Slashdot reader by your repeated use of tired jokes.

In Soviet Russia, clod insensitive you for the win!

Chemistry is a physical thing. (1)

3l1za (770108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787781)

Isn't it the case that most people you've had physical chemistry with: it was an instantaneous, physical thing? Or at least started with some initial attraction? That's certainly been the case for me.

But don't confuse: it's not purely looks-based. I've been attracted to ("had chemistry with") plenty of not-Brad-Pitt-looking (who I think is very pre-packaged looking anyway) guys. I personally can't explain what its source is. Instinct? Intuition? Pheromones? But I likewise have difficulty believing that a questionnaire can capture all of what goes on in that nanosecond when we see a member of hte opposite sex and go, hmmm.

Especially given what she cites re: internet dating and which probably more of us than would like can substantiate from personal experience: you can be very familiar with a person's personality via the written word (e.g. hours kept, sense of humor, energy level, aggressiveness, character even ...) and then meet them in person and be revolted or at least unmitigatedly disappointed.

A strict questionnaire is a bullshit game; they should have at least had folks choose musical snippets they preferred, pictures they preferred -- make it somewhat not all 2-dimensional ASCII text.

I'm deeply cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787794)

cms.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-19990101-0000 33.html

The amount of attention you can get from members of the opposite sex depends on a lot of things besides your personality and compatibility. Women will be attracted to powerful, symmetrical men with approximately the same body type as themselves. Young guys (geeks and nerds and other socially inept types.) just starting out, who are not particularly powerful in our society, can have trouble getting dates. It's amazing how an extra ten years, another zero on the paycheck and a nice car all increase a guy's compatibility. True love, bah, humbug. For most people, most of the time, it's just biology.

You are getting sleepy.... (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787799)

As you read my post,... haven't you begun to notice that with every word, ... every character you read... that you begin to really begin to breathe heavy, and as your heart beats faster, and you feel yourself falling a little sleepy... and as you find yourself doing these things, you remember a time, ... a time long ago when you met a special person you remember fondly...and fell in love.... NOW, with me... in my experience... you want to give me positive mod points. Your karma will thank you, oh yes...

They don't measure any brain chemistry (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787800)

What seems silly about this to me is that if you want to get into the actual science of attraction, and use physiological measures to find suitable partners, that might be interesting. However, despite the name "chemistry.com" it seems according to TFA that they do not actually measure any chemistry in their clients. They ask you a series of questions, each one supposedly telling about your "brain chemistry". Why not just take a blood sample and measure a few things?

Re:They don't measure any brain chemistry (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787894)

A good idea, but, unfortunately a blood sample won't do it. The brain is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid, which is separate from blood. Sampling it is expensive, risky ( infections at the site are easily lethal ), and painful.

Re:They don't measure any brain chemistry (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787919)

You can get indirect information about neurotransmitter levels by measuring metabolites in the blood and urine.

The problem with love mapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787802)

A woman's brain map is of Venus, but a man's brain map is of Mars.

This is way too simplistic (1)

calvin1981 (922478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787809)

Ultimately, we are a bunch of interconnected neurons, which implies that there should be some algorithm that predicts how we will react to, say, a member of the opposite sex with certain well-defined characteristics - smell, color, size of boobs, social status, whatever else you can think of. But, I doubt if something as simplistic as this could even be a close approximation. Also, this article looks like cheap propaganda - stinks !

sigh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13787812)

I was bored, so I took the "test". It is rubbish, similar to anything you might find anywhere else. It is mostly long strings of inane questions like "I am spontaneous" (A) a little (B) somewhat (C) quite a bit (D) very much, or "I enjoy attending musical or sports events." I guess they couldn't get the rights to use the Meyers-Briggs.

Yes, there are one or two (actually three) weird flash games that use optical illusions ("line up these two sticks so they have the same length!") and they really do ask you to look at your fingers. No idea if any of that actually gets fed into the algorithm -- I imagine it's most likely just tossed in the rubbish and used to get stories posted on slashdot and BusinessWeek.

Anyway, I filled out the survey as honestly as possible (given the circumstances); I had to lie and say I live in Denver. The first "match" that came up was a rather unattractive 30 year old who described herself in her profile "headline" as a "Strong Christian" and was generally someone this 20 something grad student would not even class as datable.

So: mostly rubbish, IMO.

In Soviet Russia... (4, Funny)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787816)

...geeks refuse to sleep with hot girls!

Sorry, it's the only response I could think of for such an idiotic story.

love formula (4, Funny)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787823)

I think it looks something like this:

( o )( o )

*ducks*

Offtopic, but... (1, Funny)

Straker Skunk (16970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787967)

...that reminds me of a little joke my uncle used to tell.

So there's these three naked women, chit-chatting with each other in a boudoir. One is an American, one is a European, and one is from the Middle East.

Some random guy gets lost, and stumbles into the boudoir, Mr. Bean-like. The three women notice him, scream, and...
 
...the American covers her breasts,
...the European covers her crotch,
...and the Mideastern woman covers her face.

(Mind you, this was one of his tamer ones... :-)

Re:love formula (1)

Shoggoth of Maul (674988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787982)

Eyeballs?

Re:love formula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13788048)

I can tell where your mind os... or more accurately, where its not... get your mind in the gutter with the rest of us! its tits man! damn...

Find me some supermodels ! (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787837)

I don't need a lovemap.

Re:Find me some supermodels ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13788072)

This is slashdot!

I suspect you will need a map of some sort...

Brain Chemistry (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787897)

Falling in love is often a result of C2H5OOH overdose or starvation. Staying in love is often a result of getting just the right amount of C2H5OOH.

myers-briggs is nothing new (1)

jshurst1 (659821) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787908)

Guessing by the language they use to describe their compatibility algorithm, I would say their matchmaking is heavily influenced by the Myers-Briggs personality theory. This theory has been around for quite some time and is used by many matchmaking services. As pointed out in Please Understand Me (1 and 2), certain pairs of myers-briggs personality types tend to do very well in romantic relationships.

Wikipedia on Myers-Briggs [wikipedia.org]

Chemistry.com seems to be nothing new.

On a different note, I always thought it would be fascinating to let loose some datamining programs on one of these matchmaking services databases. Maybe we could discover a better indicator of compatibility.

A Sure Measure of Love (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787909)

Living in a metropolitan core pays dividends. Not far from my place there's a few square blocks lined with many beautiful women who can tell how much they will love you just by the amount of money you have in your pocket. It's just a matter of adding up the numbers and denominations and figuring how long and how badly you want to be loved. Weird science but guys drive by in droves wanting that loving.

The REAL problem with all of these approaches... (4, Insightful)

3l1za (770108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787916)

...besides the fact that they are woefully 2-dimensional despite what is--by all accounts--a very multi-dimensional experience, falling in love, IS that they ask individuals to evaluate themselves: a losing proposition from the get-go.

Haven't we already established that people are terrible judges of themselves? Don't something like 80% of people think they are of above average intelligence? looks? etc?

I tire quickly of these questionnaires for another reason too: they are, to my mind, somewhat mood- or life-stage-dependent. I often have a hard time answering the questions because BOTH answers could be true (or all, for the range queries) at any given time. I suspect I'm not alone in this.

Re:The REAL problem with all of these approaches.. (2, Interesting)

sunwolf (853208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788026)

Don't something like 80% of people think they are of above average intelligence?
Did you know that 50% of the population is below average?

But all kidding aside, it's really scary to consider that a majority of the population could, statistically, be below average intelligence, with a minority of extremely smart people holding up the line on the opposite side.

I'm just happy I can forlumate words correctly.

Re:The REAL problem with all of these approaches.. (1)

thief_inc (466143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788188)

Thats is what I really need. My ex-wife and ex-girlfriends spouting on about everything I did wrong. I can just see it "He doesn't pay enough attention", "He wants sex too much.", "he sits on home on saturdays and watch's SciFI and [adult swim]" , "he leaves shit stains on his underwear" blah blah blah. But you know what if a girls is willing to put up with that pre-emptively rather than just something she discovers down the road, I guess I am willing to give her a try.

Do they tell you if you're a loser? (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787979)

I'm pretty sure there are some people whose personality will not allow them to get along with _anybody_, and who are destined to die bitter and alone (unless they have some kind of life-changing experience which causes a major personality change).

I wonder if these guys' "brain maps" will tell their customers that?

Re:Do they tell you if you're a loser? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788035)

"You are destined to die bitter and alone."

I'm pretty sure I got that in a fortune cookie once.

Testdrive (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13787986)

Please enter your hobbies: [ blahblahblah, slashdot, blahblah ]

Finding your appropriate girlfriend - *BEEP* Error... error... processor overload... *BOOM*

Google love maps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13788003)

Could help you find your next mate. Or meal or whatever.
Sounds like the next big thing as a google plugin, just slip on the electrodes then plug the whole thing into usb. Might work for normal people, Slashdotters are a different story.

Astrology anyone? (1)

nisheeths (899429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788068)

Creating a "love map" is not an original idea. A visit to any of the web's free horoscope sites reveals a process that, while whimsical in its foundations, is extremely mathematical and very rigorous in its methodology. Astrology works on the concept of people's personalities depending on a set of attributes that are assigned a pyramidal weightage structure. The crux of the argument is, getting past the occult derivations, once two personality maps have been arrived at, the method astrologers use to arrive at compatibility scenarios are much more sophisticated than anything dating services have come up with, IMHO

SWM seeks like (2, Funny)

ferreth (182847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788071)

Hi,

I like walks in the park, cooking and sitting in front of a roaring fireplace with a nice glass of port.

Oh, and I am also seeking a like minded individual that thought the article was stupid - I mean, come on, BusinessWeek talking about the science of Love. Sheesh.

Won't somebody please think about... (1)

glowworm (880177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788078)

Won't somebody please think of the grandparents!

I just did a trial signup (using a mailinator email address of course) and note that if you are born before 1920 you can't participate. I know my granny is older than that and as her husband died not long ago she could be in the market. :-)

Already done? (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788169)

Haven't scientists done this study like 18 times already? I think its becoming painfully obvious that scientists are just looking for more excuses to watch porn inside the MRI machine.

Wow! (1)

John Garvin (229844) | more than 8 years ago | (#13788173)

What really astonishes me, though, is that I came up with four basic personality types in my research, and these same four types have been described by Plato, Aristotle, Carl Jung, Myers-Briggs.

No way! Her assumptions were the very same ones passed down by our culture? Astonishing!
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