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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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.
© The Authors
- Assortative mating
- Dating apps
- Online dating
- Racial dating preferences