Psychology behind dating websites


Several months ago, I wrote a post about how online dating has shifted the way people search for and establish romantic relationships in the modern era.Notably absent from that article was any mention of what has become the fastest growing, and arguably the most popular, dating app of the past several years: Tinder.In contrast, Tinder has earned a reputation as more of a ‘hook-up’ (and sometimes even purely entertainment) app, where users make decisions based on first impressions of physical appearance and carry relatively low expectations regarding romantic outcomes.Before I get any further, let’s address the Tinder basics for readers less familiar with the app.Our busy modern lives make it hard to meet new people, so more and more of us are turning to technology to find that special someone.Once the last resort for lonely hearts, online dating has become socially acceptable, even widespread – 4.7 million British people visited a dating site during 2008.To categorize it as a dating app in the same genre as websites like Match or Ok Cupid may be entirely missing the mark as to why exactly Tinder has become so popular.

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Unlike traditional sites, they don’t let people browse a database.But popular as such sites may be, finding your ideal match online can take a lot of time, as traditional dating sites force users to read dozens or even hundreds of profiles.So some sites are helping people narrow the field by using an algorithm – a set of logical instructions for solving a problem – to find love online.Why didn’t Tinder make it into my discussion of the potential benefits and drawbacks of online dating?To put it simply, Tinder seems to fall into a league of its own.The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

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