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Of those who did not meet online, nearly 22 percent met through work, 19 percent through friends, nine percent at a bar or club and four percent at church, the study said. When researchers looked at how many couples had divorced by the end of the survey period, they found that 5.96 percent of online married couples had broken up, compared to 7.67 percent of offline married couples.
The difference remained statistically significant even after controlling for variables like year of marriage, sex, age, education, ethnicity, household income, religion and employment status.
People utilise these types of sites for various reasons.
Some people are looking for romantic connections and some are looking for marriage or friendship.
"Nobody's surprised when a minuscule effect reaches statistical significance with a sample of 20,000 people, but it's important that we don't misunderstand 'statistical significance' to mean 'practical significance.'" Finkel also took issue with e Harmony's involvement in the study.
People who reported meeting their spouse online tended to be age 30-49 and of higher income brackets than those who met their spouses offline, the survey found.
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Eli Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, led an extensive review of the science published about online dating last year.