The psychology of online dating

Wired UK:

A set of graphs doing the rounds on Twitter recently purported to show the changes in how heterosexual and homosexual couples meet. While categories such as “through friends”, “in a bar”, and “at school/work” were either declining or holding steady, one category has exploded in the last decade: “met online”. According to these stats, 20 percent of heterosexual couples sampled, and nearly 70 percent of same-sex couples met this way and its growth shows no signs of abating. But is dating online that different from the traditional methods on a psychological level?

The wealth of available singles flooding the mind can also cause conflation of information, and here the paper from the Association of Psychological Science is unequivocal: “browsing many profiles fosters judgemental and assessment-oriented evaluations that can cognitively overwhelm users”. Hibberd concurs there could also be a perpetual “grass is greener” attitude inherent in date shopping culture: “You can hold in your head an ideal, and different profiles suggest that ideal might still be out there, which could have an impact. But I do think it depends on the intentions of the person as well, and why they’re online in the first place.”

Read the whole story: Wired UK

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