Can the application of science to unravel the biological basis of love complement the traditional, romantic ideal of finding a soul mate? Yet, this apparently obvious assertion is challenged by the intrusion of science into matters of love, including the application of scientific analysis to modern forms of courtship. An increasing number of dating services boast about their use of biological research and genetic testing to better match prospective partners. Yet, while research continues to disentangle the complex factors that make humans fall in love, the application of this research remains dubious. With the rise of the internet and profound changes in contemporary lifestyles, online dating has gained enormous popularity among aspiring lovers of all ages.
We dated for five months. I questioned him about his continued online search as I had access to his username. I think he has been on these dating sites for over 5 years.
Needless to say I will not tolerate this and it was over. No-one seems very interested in making an actual purchase or commitment. I notice that all the previous comments are from women only. I agree with the article that says essentially, there are too many profiles and photos. And on it goes. The term Chemistry gets thrown around a lot. Stumbling upon this article during research for my Master thesis and I am curious: Would you use an app, that introduces a new way of dating, solely based on your voice and who you are, rather than how you look like?
And we are definitely more than our looks. I found my partner online and we had no picture of each other for three months — but we talked every night for hours…. So, the question is, would you give this way of meeting someone a chance… an app where you can listen in to answers people give to questions other user asked before and where you can get a feeling for somebody before you even see them?
Your email address will not be published. In the interest of transparency, we do not accept anonymous comments. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Read the Full Text Many of us enter the dating pool looking for that special someone, but finding a romantic partner can be difficult. About the Authors Editorial: Lynne July 1, Lisa January 24, Vickie February 4, Carol Blair August 9, Jocelyn June 23, Sandra April 25, Respondents who failed to respond affirmatively to both questions were redirected to a webpage indicating they were ineligible for the study, and eligible respondents were connected to the study's website.
Irrespective of whether they qualified for the study, all respondents were provided a nominal reward from the market research firm for their participation. They were told to keep this person in mind for the remainder of the survey, and were then presented with a series of demographic questions about themselves as well this partner. Next, they were presented with items regarding their relationship, including who initiated contact on the site, estimates of the number of photographs each individual posted on their profile, and the use of additional communication channels prior to the FtF meeting.
Based on a review of the relevant literature for pertinent reviews, see Gibbs, et al. Participants also reported the current status of their relationship i. The complete RCS includes 65 Likert-type items, with each subscale ranging from 3 to 9 items. The present study used five of the subscales: The reliability estimates were acceptable: Participants were asked to evaluate the extent to which their partner's communication behavior, attitudes, and overall impression met or exceeded their expectations based on their initial FtF meeting.
Information seeking was assessed through items from Ramirez and Zhang's measure of information seeking. The scale yielded an alpha coefficient of. Based on the results of a small-scale pilot study of 42 online dating site users, the primary predictor variable of amount of time prior to meeting FtF AMT was operationalized via an index of two self-reported items: As a result, the two items were averaged to create the AMT index.
The results also indicated the need to include three control variables due to their significant correlations with several of the outcomes. Responses were summed and utilized in the analyses. Summary statistics for each variable of interest in reported in Table 1. All of the variables measured at the interval level were standardized prior to conducting the analyses. A set of preliminary analyses were undertaken prior to conducting tests of the hypotheses and research question.
First, Pearson correlations among the variables of interest were examined for evidence of multicollinearity. Table 1 reports the correlations and indicates moderate associations, with only one correlation exceeding the. Moreover, most involving the linear AMT term were not statistically significant, suggesting a lack of linear association between AMT and the other variables.
Second, analyses were conducted to confirm whether the set of control variables required inclusion in the primary analyses. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis conducted on each outcome confirmed that the three control variables consistently emerged as significant predictors. As a consequence, the block was included in the analyses reported below.
Hierarchical multiple regression tests were conducted in the following manner to examine the hypotheses and research question. In the first step, the three control variables were entered as a block. In the final step, the quadratic AMT term was added and examined for statistical significance. Table 2 reports the results.
The first hypothesis predicted a curvilinear, inverted u-shaped relationship between AMT and perceptions of a intimacy, b dominance, c composure, d formality, and e task-social orientation. Overall, the prediction was supported on 4 of the 5 dimensions. Although respondents reported initial increases in intimacy, said levels showed a long-term decrease.
Table 2 shows the three control variables also emerged as significant predictors. Initiating contact, having more photos on one's profile, and using a greater diversity of communication channels with the partner were significantly predicted perceptions of intimacy.
However, hypothesis 1b was not confirmed. Dominance was coded such that higher scores represent increased perceptions of dominance. Neither of the AMT terms linear: Hypothesis 1c received support. As communication between daters increased over time, composure initially showed an increase but then declined reflecting the expected curvilinear pattern.
In addition, the three control variables also emerged as significant predictors. Table 2 shows that initiating contact, having a greater number of photos displayed on one's profile, and using more communication channels with the partner were predictive of perceptions of greater composure. Hypothesis 1d, which focused on perceptions of formality, was also supported.
Formality was coded such that higher scores indicate greater informality. Once more, initial reported increases in informality were tempered by a decline over time as communication increased. Only one control variable, the number of photographs posted significantly and positively predicted perceptions of informality. Consistent with the predicted pattern, participants reported an initial increase in social orientation in the short-term but a decrease in the long-term.
In addition, two of the control variables surfaced as significant predictors. The greater the number of photographs posted to one's profile and the greater the number of communication channels used with one's partner, the more participants perceived their interaction to be socially oriented in nature see Table 2. Hypothesis 2 was confirmed. Initial outcome level forecasts displayed an increase but then declined over time resulting in a curvilinear pattern.
The three control variables also significantly predicted POV. Initiating contact, having a greater number of photographs posted on one's profile, and using a greater number of communication channels with the partner were significantly associated with more positive forecasts of the relationship's future.
The query asked the nature of the association between AMT and information seeking. The three control variables also emerged as significant predictors.
The science of online dating
Receiving contact, having fewer photographs posted, and using more channels with one's partner were significantly associated with greater information seeking behavior. The phenomenal growth in the popularity of online dating sites as viable spaces for initiating romantic relationships has been coupled with increased attention from academic scholars Finkel et al.
Whereas much of this research has focused on processes such as self-presentation Ellison et al. This study sought to fill this void by examining daters' perceptions after an initial FtF meeting.
In doing so, it provides unique contributions to both the literature on MS and online dating. Overall, the results suggest online daters may benefit from meeting their partner in person after a brief period of online interaction. Consistent with predictions, participants reported increasingly positive perceptions of relational messages intimacy, composure, informality, social orientation , forecasts of the relationship's potential, and information seeking when meeting their partner FtF after a brief period of time and online communication; only perceptions of dominance failed to exhibit the predicted pattern.
However, continuing online interaction for longer, extended periods of time produced negative outcomes: The same relationship characteristics displayed a negative association with AMT, thereby producing the inverted u-shaped curvilinear pattern.
Utilizing a longitudinal survey design, McEwan and Zanolla investigated participant relationships before and after their in-person meeting. Most relevant to the present study their findings reported a curvilinear effect between participant reports of predicted outcome value forecasts at time 1 and closeness at time 2.
Consistent with the findings from the present study, the in-person meeting time 2 dampened perceptions of closeness based on online-only interaction time 1.
Although the nature of the data, specifically the AMT variable, in the present study preclude a formal identification of the tipping point, a visual inspection of each dimension suggests a range between 17 POV and 23 intimacy days within which it may occur.
The results of the present study suggest online daters create mental constructs of their potential partners by reading their online dating profile, using that information to fill-in-the-blanks of who the partner might really be in the offline world.
Daters who wait too long to meet in person, and therefore cross this tipping point, might find it difficult to accept any discrepancies from their idealized mental construct of their partner. Crossing the tipping point should be particularly harmful for daters who developed very inaccurate partner expectations due to the partner's use of dishonesty, misrepresentation, or even exaggeration on their profile.
Most daters engage in minor and strategic misrepresentations in order to develop positive impressions on their profile page e. According to the hyperpersonal perspective Walther, , this combination of selective self-presentation, channel characteristics e. Consequently, partners who meet relatively early might be able to accept any minor differences between their expectations and reality, but partners who wait too long may experience increased uncertainty when the person they interacted with fails to meet their well-developed expectations FtF.
Another contribution of the present study is that it also identified other influences upon the nature of the initial in-person meeting. First, who initiated contact on the dating site significantly predicted 4 of the 7 outcomes. Perceptions of increased intimacy and composure, more positive outcome value forecasts, and enhanced information seeking during the initial FtF meeting were all significantly associated with who initiated contact.
Second, the number of photographs online daters made available on their profile significantly predicted all of the outcomes. Perceptions of higher levels of intimacy, informality, composure, and social orientation as well as more positive outcome value forecasts during the in-person meeting were positively predicted by the number of photographs. In addition, a greater number of photographs predicted less dominance and information seeking.
The latter finding suggests that the information provided by the photographs may reduce the need for daters to question partners about visually verifiable characteristics, and might therefore turn their attention to other areas. Third, the expansion of channels from the dating site to more personalized forms of interaction e. The number of channels used significantly predicted 5 of the outcomes including greater intimacy, composure, and social orientation.
Reports of more positive outcome value forecasts and increased information seeking were also associated with using a greater diversity of channels. The ability of the three controls to predict relational communication outcomes in the present study indicates that they should be of theoretical interest in future research.
Scholarly articles on internet dating
It is also worth noting that the three variables may represent a degree of linear progression in how they influence dater perceptions. That is, initiating contact alerts a partner to another's interest, which then leads the target to explore the initiator's profile and photographs, which in turn can lead to further communication and channel expansion for continued interaction.
Although the overall results are consistent with laboratory tests of the modality switching perspective, the present study differed in several notable ways that might limit their applicability. However, this study's methodology does bolster ecological validity by enabling a greater understanding of actual dating relationships as they naturally developed online to offline. In contrast, daters choose with whom to interact and subsequently attempt to develop a relationship.
The present study asked participants to recall the events of a naturally occurring online dating relationship. Its cross-sectional design creates the potential cost of introducing memory bias and leading participants to focus on extremely positive or negative experiences.
This investigation attempted to minimize such biases by limiting the amount of time between the FtF meeting and study participation 3 months as well as asking participants to report on their most recent instance. Although these safeguards may not eliminate all potential problems, the methodology can be interpreted as offering insight that complements and extends prior research.
It must be noted, however, that the results reported should not interpreted to mean that immediate or delayed meetings inherently predict a relationship's success. That is, meeting in person shortly after initial online contact does not guarantee the relationship will persist nor does delaying the meeting automatically translate into its failure.
This study ends at the point of the initial meeting, and consequently do not offer insight into long-term success. However, it provides strong support for advancing the modality switching perspective as a framework for understanding the effect of online dating interactions on outcomes derived from initial FtF meetings. Future research should use the findings as a springboard for examining the multitude of factors related to short- and long-term offline relationship success between online daters.
His research interests focus on the social aspects of computer-mediated interaction including multimodal communication, information seeking behavior, and relational reconnection via computer-mediated channels.
Bryant Sumner , Ph. Her research focuses on aspects of interpersonal and computer-mediated communication. Her research explores nonverbal communication in romantic relationships and online environments, predictors of anticipated emotional reactions to Facebook postings, and relational maintenance through the use of computer-mediated communication.
Box , Tempe, AZ Her research focuses on the impact of emotion on online behavior including emotional reactions to Facebook postings as well as the link between jealousy and the use of computer-mediated communication tools. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.
Sign In or Create an Account. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Box , Tempe, AZ, Abstract Despite the popularity of online dating sites, little is known about what occurs when online dating partners choose to communicate offline.
Regression coefficients reported are standardized and reflect the final model. Some explorations in initial interaction and beyond: Toward a developmental theory of communication. Interpersonal expectations, expectancy violations, and emotional communication.
Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science
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