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Cacioppo is a scientific adviser to e Harmony, one of the largest online dating sites.
He convinced the company to pay for an online survey of Americans.
Professor Reis' research interests involve social interaction and close relationships.
He is particularly interested in intimacy, attachment, and emotion regulation.
"It is entirely possible that when these factors are taken into account, online meeting may have worse outcomes than offline meeting," Reis says.
He adds that the only way to prove that online dating has an effect on marital outcomes—positive or negative—is to do a controlled trial in which people are randomly assigned to meet people online or in the real world.
"They did control for demographic factors, and that is good," he says.
"But they did not control for personality, mental health status, drug and alcohol use, history of domestic violence, and motivation to form a relationship." All are all known to affect marital outcomes, and people who tend to date online may differ in one or more of these factors, he says.
Language comprehension is not directly observable, so we use eye movements as an indirect way of inferring the possible referents a child is considering as a sentence is unfolding.