4 Aug 2021
Psychology researchers at USC Australia are aiming to find out why so many Australians on the popular dating app Tinder are not using it to find dates.
Senior Lecturer in Psychology Dr Rachael Sharman said the research was prompted by international studies revealing that up to 80 percent of Tinder users had never met a match offline.
“While Tinder is a dating app that claims to have made millions of matches, global research shows that a surprising proportion of people are not using it for its intended purpose,” Dr Sharman said.
She said the USC study could shed light on whether Tinder was a ‘‘hook-up” app in this country, given another international finding that as few as four percent of Tinder users reported having had more than two one-night stands as a result of using the app.
“Previous international studies found that people are more likely to use Tinder for entertainment or socialising rather than seek a relationship or casual sex.”
Despite additional challenges to meeting in person due to COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing, 2020 was the busiest year in Tinder’s history.
“Australia is a major contributor to Tinder revenues, holding sixth place by country, so we want to better understand the motives of Australian users,” said Dr Sharman.
Dr Sharman said the research aimed to support the safety and wellbeing of users on Tinder, a Match.com-owned app now operating in 190 countries.
“Concern has been raised about negative behaviours of Tinder users like trolling, ghosting, catfishing and cheating on partners.”
“And, compared to non-users, Tinder users have been found to display higher levels of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism suggesting the use of manipulation, deceit, and exploitation to achieve a desired outcome.”
“This research may assist counsellors and psychologists to understand more about Tinder users and the impact Tinder usage has on the community,” she said.
Dr Sharman, tutor and Psychology Honours graduate Jessica Blower and Honours student Sherry Barkase are now seeking participants for the anonymous, confidential, online survey.
Past or present Tinder users in Australia can contact: https://uniofsunshinecoast.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bjZ4Cu8Mv8LfeLQ
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