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  • Writer's pictureNay

Nay Says: Preference Versus Choice in Online Dating

Queensland University of Technology and the Center for Research in Economics, Management, and the Arts (CREMA) have collaborated on a study analyzing the online dating preferences and choices of Australians on the website RSVP.

Authors Stephen Whyte and Benno Torgler were interested in seeing what factors represented in online dating influenced the matches of people’s preferences to their choices.

It is important to know that online dating is on the rise and is commonly used among adults to find a romantic companion. With online dating, people are required to disclose background information and their preferences for an ideal partner.

The current study analyzed the data of 41, 936 individuals and the contacts they made on the website, which was 219, 013 contacts.

Here are a few important things from the Results:

• Younger men are less selective than women when it comes to choosing a mate that matches their preferences.Though that changes when men are about 60 years of age. Men who are about 60 years and older begin to be more selective than women.

• People who have more sociable personalities tended to contact mates who matched their original preferences more.

• People with higher levels of education tended to be less selective in choosing a mate that matches their preferences.Though that changes, as well, when they surpass the age of 40.

Nay Says

I love that this study had so much data and looked at many different factors. I wonder if you have to be a citizen of Australia to be on the website RSVP, cause maybe not all the participants were actually Australian. Also, there are many online dating websites where people may not necessarily be looking for a long-term mate, but just someone to casually date. I wonder where RSVP stands on that matter.

The term ‘ideal’ may be difficult for participants to describe, if they are unsure of what type of person they would like. The study took place over the course of 4 months in 2016, so I wonder if the type of person people said they liked in Month 1 changed by Month 4, since for this study they are relying on their initial preferences.

The results do not surprise me, but the role of education was an interesting factor to learn. I was not aware of that information prior to reading this study, so I hope others reading this learned something new too.

For more information about this study:

To explore the website RSVP:

Whyte, S., & Torgler, B. (2017). Preference versus choice in online dating. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking, 20(3), 150-156.


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