Online dating percentage success
According to New York City psychologist and author Vivian Diller, the seven-year study was too short to assess the long-term outcomes of relationships that begin online.
"Success in marriage is largely about how you negotiate differences, not just compatibility," she told AFP, adding that online dating can raise expectations and result in greater unhappiness.
"I find that younger people who use online dating seem to use it more as a playground, especially guys looking at profiles of young women.
One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.
Cacioppo acknowledged being a "paid scientific advisor" for the website, but said the researchers followed procedures provided by the Journal of the American Medical Association and agreed to oversight by independent statisticians.
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.
His research showed about 35 percent of relationships now start online.
"The overreach occurs when the authors conclude that meeting a partner online is better than meeting a partner through offline avenues," Finkel said.
However, some experts took issue with the findings because the survey was commissioned by e Harmony.com, the dating site that attracted one quarter of all online marriages according to the research.
Some 79% of online daters agree that online dating is a good way to meet people, and 70% of them agree that it helps people find a better romantic match because they have access to a wide range of potential partners.
Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.
"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.
"I'm always a bit wary when a project is entirely funded by a private organization that clearly has a vested interest in the results," he said.
Among couples who were still married during the survey, those who met online reported higher marital satisfaction -- an average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey -- than those who met offline and averaged 5.48.