The relationship between online dating and personality characteristics
Research shows that the Internet is an increasingly popular tool for social encounters. Although some believe online communication expands individuals' social networks, others are concerned that the Internet reduces face-to-face interactions and may create isolation. Regardless of these debates, more and more individuals utilize the Internet as a means of forming relationships. ^ This study examined whether personality differences exist between those who use dating websites and those who do not. Demographic differences in personality characteristics were also examined. The sample consisted of 202 participants; 60 participants have or had online dating profiles and 142 participants have not. It is possible to utilize an online dating service to meet others without creating a personal dating profile, and 69 participants either have or had online dating profiles or simply looked at others' profiles online and 133 participants have not. ^ Results reveal no significant personality (e.g., shyness, social anxiety, self-esteem, locus of control) differences between those who use dating websites and those who do not. The results revealed a significant negative relationship between age and locus of control, suggesting that younger participants feel more externally controlled than older participants. The findings also indicate significant relationships among ethnicity and a number of factors, including anxiety, avoidance of social situations, and performance avoidance in social situations. ^ Several implications can be made from this research for psychological services as well as for theory development and future research. Regarding psychological services, this research may assist therapists in their understanding of clients who use dating Online Dating websites, ultimately facilitating treatment. Understanding motivations for utilizing dating websites may also be helpful in the context of social learning theory, as this information may assist researchers in gaining a better understanding of the interest in and reasons for using online dating services. Future research may expand upon this study by, for example, examining how successful the users of these sites feel in terms of meeting long-term partners and how their experience impacts their feelings about themselves and their lives. ^
Psychology, Social|Psychology, Personality
Marisa Picheny Goldberg,
"The relationship between online dating and personality characteristics"
(January 1, 2009).
ETD Collection for Pace University.