Studies on web dating

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.

Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.

Not according to a study of more than 1 million interactions on a dating website published this week in the .

Instead, the results indicate that you are probably looking for "deal breakers," harshly eliminating those who do not live up to your standards. People met their romantic partners through the recommendations of friends, family, or even at real-world locations known as "bars." Whatever signals and decisions led people to couple up were lost to science. According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of Americans in a committed romantic relationship say they met their partner through an online dating site.

These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating.

"The science is absolutely solid." He suspects that deal breakers are more important at the early stage of mate selection when people are winnowing down a pool of candidates.

Lin hopes that other dating sites will release similar data, because website design could play a bit part in how people make decisions.For example, says Lin, "Tinder doesn't allow users to search, and emphasizes the photos much more than [personal] attributes, which might reduce the deal breaker effects." Then again, perhaps that simply shifts the deal breakers to a person's appearance instead.Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.Besides photographs, each user's profile could include any number of personal details including age, height, weight, education, marital status, number of children, and smoking and drinking habits.The data set includes some 1.1 million interactions between users.

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