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   A Second Opinion

       Pepper Schwartz and PerfectMatch.com

Press Release Headline:

   "PerfectMatch.com and Renowned Relationship Expert, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Offer Proven Method to Connect People Based on Similarity and Complementary Factors."

   A press release showed up in our email this week from Business Wire. It seems that Pepper Schwartz has rediscovered computer dating. Pepper claims, "In researching other online dating sites we found that no other service is truly focused on matching users based on the compatibilities between two people."

   To solve this dilemma, Pepper developed a test she calls the Pepper Personality Profiler. (As Dave Barry often says, No, we are not making this up.)

   What Pepper is doing is as original as leftovers. Doesn't she know about the computer dating craze in the 70s and 80s? Or did she grow up on some remote island? (Gilligan's comes to mind.) Or perhaps Pepper is simply taking a page from the fashion industry and calling something old something new to resell it to another generation.

   In 1956 Art Linkletter, host of the popular TV show "People Are Funny," matched a couple using a computer. Time magazine reported, "Remington Rand's Univac No. 21 turned Cupid, brought together a flesh-and-blood couple as scientifically selected 'ideal marriage mates.' It was a clear-cut victory for Univac, hormones and Trendex (an audience rating service)."


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   Time also reported the couple was paired based on a 32 item questionnaire developed by 'The Father of American Marriage Counseling' Paul Popenoe. The happy couple became engaged, and Art Linkletter offered to pay the airfare for their Paris Honeymoon.

   Sounds like the Pepper Personality Profiler is only about half a century behind the curve.

   The whole thing reminds us of old Amway rallies. Do you like to be lied to? Noooo. Do you want to be loved? Yeessss. Do you want to be fulfilled? Yeesss. Would you like a million dollars?

   Don't answer that one. That question is only for sociologists with the financial acumen to develop things like the Pepper Personality Profiler.

Sources:

--Business Wire - BW5262, Aug 13 2003.

--Time magazine, Nov 19 1956, p 79.

Update: We regret to say that the Pepper Personality Profiler used by PerfectMatch.com has since morphed into the Duet® Total Compatibility System.

Perhaps it sank under the weight of its own hokiness. Or perhaps our commentary helped push it into an early grave. Or perhaps it just got a new name.

Pepper Schwartz is a teacher at the University of Washington where, among other things, she designs "insightful self-discovery quizzes" for PerfectMatch.com.

 

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