Assortative (online) dating: Insights into partner choice from an experimental dating app

Giulia Ranzini*, Judith E. Rosenbaum, Joshua M. Tybur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In Western nations, the simultaneous increases in interracial relationships and the use of dating apps such as Tinder have raised questions regarding the influence of dating apps on partner choice. This study examines whether principles of assortative mating – people's tendency to select partners similar to them – apply to dating apps, or whether the reduced cue environment used on these apps leads users to choose more heterogeneous partners. Young (age <28) Dutch participants (N = 522) used a mock dating app in which potential partners were either White or non-White, relatively low or high educated, and possessed an ethnically Dutch or non-Dutch name. Results pointed to educational assortativity for higher-educated participants and indicated that profile pictures, rather than names, influenced the choice of a White target for participants with a Dutch family background.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107039
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date1 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschap Onderzoek (NWO – Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) .The authors wish to thank Marco Otte, Chief Technology Officer at the Network Institute of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, for his essential contribution to the creation of the mock-dating app Finder.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors


  • Assortative mating
  • Dating apps
  • Online dating
  • Racial dating preferences


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