New York Times Op-Ed by Eli Finkel about Tinder

Is the smartphone revolution sullying the online dating world?

Critics complain that Tinder is a hookup app, a good way to pursue a one-night stand but a lousy way to start a serious relationship. But this is a false dichotomy. As a psychological researcher who studies online dating, I believe that Tinder’s approach is terrific for pursuing casual sex and for meeting a serious relationship partner.

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New York Times Op-Ed by Eli Finkel on the Trauma of Parenthood

[T]he ideology of modern parenting...can lead to unnecessary feelings of guilt and shame, for it ignores an inconvenient truth: that many women and men experience significant psychological distress in response to becoming a parent and that much of this distress isn’t caused by a hormonal epiphenomenon of the birth process. It is driven instead in large measure by the objectively bleak circumstances new parents often face. That you love your child is not always sufficient to counteract this reality.

Fortunately, over the past few years, the ideology of parenting has been challenged by social scientists, who have repeatedly demonstrated a profound disconnect between parenting dogma and the actual experience of parenthood.

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New York Times Op-Ed by Eli Finkel on the All-or-Nothing Marriage

Over the past year I immersed myself in the scholarly literature on marriage: not just the psychological studies but also work from sociologists, economists and historians. Perhaps the most striking thing I learned is that the answer to whether today’s marriages are better or worse is “both”: The average marriage today is weaker than the average marriage of yore, in terms of both satisfaction and divorce rate, but the best marriages today are much stronger, in terms of both satisfaction and personal well-being, than the best marriages of yore.

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New York Times Op-Ed By Eli Finkel and Grainne Fitzsimons on When Helping Hurts

American parents are more involved in our children’s lives than ever: we schedule play dates, assist with homework and even choose college courses.

We know that all of this assistance has costs — depleted bank balances, constricted social lives — but we endure them happily, believing we are doing what is best for our children.

What if, however, the costs included harming our children?

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New York Times Op-Ed by Eli Finkel on Conflict in Relationships

Have you decided what to get for your valentine this year? You could try something classic, like chocolates. Or something blingy, like earrings. Or sexy, like lingerie.

But if you really want to improve your relationship, you should give your loved one an i.o.u.

Find a nice piece of stationery, and in your most graceful lettering, assert: “I promise to write about our next three fights as though I were a neutral observer.” Then, doodle a heart on the page, stick it in a pretty envelope and give it to that special someone over dinner.

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Scientific American Mind Piece by Eli Finkel and Colleagues on Online Dating

Romantic relationships can begin anywhere. When Cupid's arrow strikes, you might be at church or at school, playing chess or softball, flirting with a friend of a friend at a party or minding your own business on the train. Sometimes, however, Cupid goes on vacation, or takes a long nap, or kicks back for a marathon of Lifetime original movies. Instead of waiting for the capricious arrow slinger to get back to work, people are increasingly joining online-dating sites to assert some control over their romantic lives.

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New York Times Op-Ed by Eli Finkel and Benjamin Karney on the Science of Online Dating

How scientific are the “matching algorithms” of online-dating Web sites?

For a fee, many dating sites will collect data about you, crunch the numbers and match you with someone who, as eHarmony puts it, has been “prescreened for deep compatibility with you across 29 dimensions.” Sites like Chemistry, PerfectMatch and GenePartner make similar scientific-sounding claims.

But can a mathematical formula really identify pairs of singles who are especially likely to have a successful romantic relationship?

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