What the science says about Tinder and Grindr users

If you wanted to research how humans try to find a partner and sex, 60 years ago you would have gone to a party; 30 ago, to a disco; and currently, you would not need more than to take out a mobile and get off Grindr, Tinder or any dating app.

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These apps have gone from being a route alternative in the search for love —The love, or the type of interaction that each one desires— to become the main place to interact romantically, especially in the youth population. That is why they are also the object of study for social Sciences, that investigate how we have arrived at the culture of match and from swipe left or right.

Juan Ramon Barrada Y Angel Castro are two PhDs in Psychology and researchers in behavioral sciences, health and technologies of the Zaragoza’s University (UNIFY). This last year they have focused their work on apps dating for the scientific purpose of knowing how humans — especially young people, ages 18-26 — find a mate.

Investigations of this Department of Psychology and Sociology They also serve to know if the stigmata associated with the use of these apps they have some truth. Their conclusions manage to dismantle the prejudices of Grindr and Tinder. Thus, they observe that there are no personality patterns among the users of the applications, having the same heterogeneity as in any area of ​​life offline and with extroverts and introverts alike. They also see that those who use it are mostly single, so the hypothesis of being a redoubt of infidelities falls. And although it is true that users value sex without commitment somewhat better, they give the same importance to this as to the search for a long-term partner.

How to investigate without bias?

While collecting scientific literature that interested them for their research, Barrada and Castro realized that studies on these apps they had a great limitation: they only took users as a reference, which prevented them from comparing the results with another population.

As Barrada explains to SINC, “it is impossible to know what Tinder users — or others — are like without establishing a comparison criterion“. This problem occurred, they believe, because the recruitment of people to participate in studies and surveys was done through forums or advertisements that sought people to use the applications,” which may be biasing who responds to our questionnaires “.

To avoid this, the researchers eliminated that exclusion criterion. Thus, they made their questionnaires on love and sexuality without ruling out participants based on the use of these apps. That is, they included both people who have entered at some point in their life, as well as others who are still active or who have never built a profile. “In our case, we had a sample of a couple of thousand university students, whom we voluntarily invited to participate. We understand that this is a good start,” they detail.

Once the comparison group is established, there may be another factor that biases the results of the questionnaires: the personality of the participants, who will hardly ever rate themselves in negative terms, such as “bad lover” or “bad partner.”

Aware of this, Castro and Barrada decided to base all their research on autoinforms. “If I ask you to rate yourself as extraversion, and I ask people close to you to do the same, there is a convergence of results,” exemplify the psychologists.

In this way, they decided to focus their questionnaires on questions such as’ how do you consider yourself as sexual partner? ‘ or ‘how satisfied do you feel with your body?’ “A very different thing would be to measure the quality sexual, which would sue other informants, but is not the case, “adds Barrada.

The robot portrait of users of apps dating

Who is on Tinder? What is a Grindr user like? The first investigation from this department on dating apps wanted to answer these questions. According to Castro, there are no official data —Or they are hidden, or they are unreliable— that allow to profile the young people who make use of these tools. This lack of data, in his opinion, fuels stereotypes and stigmas about the people who go to apps.

“If we asked people to imagine what a user is like on Tinder, we would know what goes through her head, but she can create a profile that is incompatible with another mental image.” Barrada considers, based on his research, that the prejudices about those who are in the apps they can be up contradictory: “There are people who may think they are people extroverted and able to engage in conversation with strangers, and others who are very timid they need technological distance to start relationships. ”

And what does this department’s investigation say? According to your data, do not have a specific personality pattern and there is a lot of heterogeneity. In terms of demographic and non-personality-related values, this research indicates that there are probably more men, who are sexual minorities (or not heterosexual), single and of a higher age range, closer to thirty than to 18 years.

In short, Barrada defines it like this: “The profile of a young Tinder user is that of a person who goes to the supermarket. And what is that profile? Well, the question is unfounded. ”

User characteristics and purposes

After shedding light on the profiles that populate dating apps, the researchers focused on Tinder their next study to know What do they have in common youth users of the app, why they spent time on it and if there was any correlation between its use and psychological well-being, sexual satisfaction and sexual behaviors without compromise.

According to this research, young users use Tinder as curiosity The how hobby. Secondarily, the search for quick sex or a long-term partner were also among the reasons, “but they were not the most prominent and they had a similar importance“Specifies Castro.” For them [los universitarios participantes del estudio], Tinder is one more tool like Instagram, it is treated with absolute normality “.

It is in the sexual plane where psychologists do find differences with respect to the group of non-users. In this sense, people who use Tinder “do have a greater orientation to short-term relationships“, points out Barrada, referring to three dimensions that the research collects: they are people who have had more sex without commitment; they present more favorable attitudes towards this phenomenon, that is, they respond positively to the statement” sex without love seems to me correct “; and they have more desire to have this type of relationship. In parallel to this, users are more dissatisfied with their sexual life “but they do not consider themselves worse lovers” and they care more about this aspect.

Finally, the investigation has not found a correlation between being a Tinder user and presenting more wellness psychological o self esteem physics.

Looking for a partner, short and long, is not contradictory

After seeing that users gave similar importance to looking for quick sex in apps and wanting a long-term partner, the researchers wondered if these two questions can be give at the same time.

“We began to weigh that they are not two opposites, but rather that a person may want a romantic partner and, while that person appears, have one or more casual relationships, “says Castro. This is novel in social research on dating and relationship applications, since, according to the literature Scientific started from the idea that if you are looking for something fast, if you have a “short-term” relationship orientation, a “long-term” orientation cannot coexist. Your latest research comes to confirm that this phenomenon, which might seem contradictory, exists.

Finally, this work may also suggest that apps dating have success: those who use Tinder (or any other) are more likely to find a long-term partner. “Separating those who had used a app at some point in their life and those who have had it for a few months, we see that this last group overwhelmingly tends to be single “, details Barrada.

In the event that apps were populated by people who do not want to have long-term relationships, “users would continue to be single, but it is not what we have found”, concludes the psychologist.


Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.

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