How Tinder “Feedback Loop” Forces Men and Women into Extreme Strategies
Back in 2012, a new craze swept the Internet centered on a dating app called Tinder. The app shows users pictures of potential dating partners in their local area. Users swipe right if they like the picture or swipe left if they don’t. When two users like each other, the app puts them in contact with its built-in messaging service.
Tinder changed the ground rules for dating apps. Until then, most dating services had found matches using a range of factors such as shared interests, age, future plans, and so on. On Tinder, all that matters is first impressions.
That’s interesting for anthropologists who have spent decades studying how people select mates. This research is hard because there are so many factors to take into account. Tinder, on the other hand, is a much cleaner environment, since it is based only on first impressions, and so has fascinating research potential. And yet nobody has studied mating strategies on Tinder.
Today that changes thanks to the work of Gareth Tyson at Queen Mary University of London in the U.K. and a few pals who have studied mating strategies on Tinder for the first time. Their work reveals some remarkable differences between different groups using Tinder, some counterintuitive phenomenon, and they have even come up with some tips to help men in particular to maximize their chances of success.
The team does not have access to raw data from Tinder and so developed another way to gather information. They set up 14 different Tinder accounts designed to mimic ordinary users. They created three accounts using stock photos of white men, two accounts for white male volunteers with several pictures, and as controls a male account with no picture and a male account with a picture saying the account had been disabled. Continue Reading