Event Title

Love Me Tinder or Mis-Match.com: Free versus Paid Online Dating Sites

Poster Number

33

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Darren Ritzer

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

22-4-2016 2:15 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 4:15 PM

Description

Nearly 50 million individuals in the U.S. have used an online dating website or app, making it a $1.8 billion industry. Our study assessed the expectations of people who chose to use free dating sites versus dating sites that required a fee. We hypothesized that individuals who used free dating websites would be more likely to prefer casual relationships (i.e., “hooking up”) to committed relationships. Participants (n = 221) recruited from college classes and social media responded to an online survey that measured dating site usage, ideal partner characteristics, and risk taking. Fifty-three percent of participants had used online dating websites or apps. For free sites, 70 % of participants expected to see their dating options and then date as many people as possible. Only 28 % of people expected to meet their perfect match on a free site. Six percent of participants who used free sites expected to only hook up. Sixty percent of paid site users expected to meet their perfect match and less than 1 % expected to just hook up. The more free sites an individual used, the more frequently that individual reported engaging in risky behaviors, such as drinking and having unprotected sex. Men used free dating websites more than women. In sum, we found that people who were not necessarily seeking long-term relationships were more likely to use free sites and these users engaged in more risky behaviors. From a marketing perspective, a better understanding of the expectations and characteristics of users is quite valuable.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2016

Course Assignment

Undergraduate Research in Psychology, PSYC 471/472, Dr. Darren Ritzer

Comments

Charlotte Agenda, December 2015,

 
Apr 22nd, 2:15 PM Apr 22nd, 4:15 PM

Love Me Tinder or Mis-Match.com: Free versus Paid Online Dating Sites

Richardson Ballroom

Nearly 50 million individuals in the U.S. have used an online dating website or app, making it a $1.8 billion industry. Our study assessed the expectations of people who chose to use free dating sites versus dating sites that required a fee. We hypothesized that individuals who used free dating websites would be more likely to prefer casual relationships (i.e., “hooking up”) to committed relationships. Participants (n = 221) recruited from college classes and social media responded to an online survey that measured dating site usage, ideal partner characteristics, and risk taking. Fifty-three percent of participants had used online dating websites or apps. For free sites, 70 % of participants expected to see their dating options and then date as many people as possible. Only 28 % of people expected to meet their perfect match on a free site. Six percent of participants who used free sites expected to only hook up. Sixty percent of paid site users expected to meet their perfect match and less than 1 % expected to just hook up. The more free sites an individual used, the more frequently that individual reported engaging in risky behaviors, such as drinking and having unprotected sex. Men used free dating websites more than women. In sum, we found that people who were not necessarily seeking long-term relationships were more likely to use free sites and these users engaged in more risky behaviors. From a marketing perspective, a better understanding of the expectations and characteristics of users is quite valuable.