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The findings could have implications for other kinds of websites, although new technologies and approaches could help address the problem, researchers suggest. According to a survey conducted in 2006 by the Pew Center for Internet and American Life, over 37% of all single Web users have tried them.

Dating sites frequently resemble e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com; users enter search criteria such as height, appearance, and religion and are presented with a set of matches.

“Anytime you get on the Web, there is the danger of cognitive overload,” says Nicole Ellison, a professor at Michigan State University who studies online relationships and dating.

Ellison believes that the sheer amount of information online presents a challenge to users, although search engines such like Google have proven effective for sorting through the simplest types of information.

The Oxford Internet Surveys (Ox IS) have recently paid special attention to social networks and relationships formed through the Internet.