Too Much Choice in Online Dating:
Choice in Online Dating Can Lead to Dissatisfaction
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that there may be too many fish in the sea. Although online dating is very popular, it appears that it is causing issues among singles whether they are on dating sites or apps.
A study brought out by Catalina Toma, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin, has found that singles may have too much choice when it comes to dating online. Overall, this creates an attitude of “the grass is greener” due to the shifting perceptions that can occur when going through various online dating profiles.
A Study on Undergraduates
The study itself was carried out on 152 undergraduate students at the university. The aim was to determine how the numbers of choices daters had were provided and whether these choices were reversible, as well as to determine the way in which it would affect romantic outcomes. Results came out a week after selection and they determined that…
…online daters who chose from a large set of potential partners were less satisfied with their choice.
In comparison, those who had only selected from a much smaller pool (usually less than 24 candidates) were indeed more satisfied. Those who had picked from the larger one were more likely to change their choice.
D’Angelo, Toma’s assistant, stated that there is often more regret when one is aware that there are other options.
Counterfactuals in Online Dating
According to researchers, these are what are called “counterfactuals” and they can affect online dating. In essence, it means that one is thinking about “what might have been” even though the choice one has already made is seemingly good enough. Toma also stated that there was a perception of having more options simply because the cost of meeting someone is quite low.
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