Today in Research: Online Dating; Church as Weight-Loss Technique

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Discovered: Online dating is a crock, sugar is toxic, mapping the Milky Way, and church as a weight loss management technique.

  • Online dating is a crock. Of course it is. A mutual love of The Wire doesn't mean much of anything in the romance department. And, if humans know nothing about what makes two people click, why would a computer algorithm created by our hopeless species know better? It doesn't, according to new research out of Northwestern. "If dating sites want to claim that their matching algorithm is scientifically valid, they need to adhere to the standards of science, which is something they have uniformly failed to do," explained author Eli Finkel. "To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works." That doesn't mean the sites aren't well-stocked dating department stores with plenty of eligible whatevers to try on for size.  [Psychological Science in the Public Interest]
  • Church as a weight-loss management technique. Perhaps it has to do with guilt or god's reward, but, women who attended dieting groups at churches, rather than universities, lost more weight. Looking at 55 women, the devout one's lost a higher percentage of their body masses. Science thinks it has something to do with having a built-in network. "Church-based groups have a built-in social support system that allows members to see each other, check in, and follow up on behavior changes," said the authors. So it is about guilt then. [Journal of Black Psychology

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