A Match Made in Hormones
By Susan Kuchinskas

(Business 2.0) - Match.com must have the dating blues. First the leader in online romance had to battle a lawsuit claiming that it paid people to go on dates. Then came cooling demand. Industry revenues were up only 9 percent in 2005 to $516 million, according to Jupiter Research, after a torrid 19 percent growth rate in 2004. But now the company hopes to make new conquests via Chemistry.com, a spinoff website that promises to find you the perfect partner based on the levels of hormones in your brain.

Match hired Helen Fisher, a Rutgers anthropologist and author of Why We Love, to develop a questionnaire that sorts users into neurochemical types. For example, she says risk takers tend to have high activity levels of dopamine, while those who describe themselves as cooperative and traditional show elevated serotonin activity. The site attempts to match complementary brains. "Fifty percent of your personality is based in chemistry," Fisher says.

Chemistry.com general manager Chris Terrill says the approach appeals to professionals with no time to troll through profiles. Their attitude, Terrill says, is "I believe you can use personality testing to find that small group of people for me." The site was scheduled to go live at the beginning of the year with a subscription fee of $50 per month. If Chemistry.com has its formula right, there's now a whole new way to swoon.

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