A 2017 research paper appearing in the journal Telematics and Informatics attempts to shed light on the motivations of Tinder users.
Working out of Belgium and the Netherlands, researchers Sindy R. Sumtera, Laura Vandenbosch and Loes Ligtenberg have produced the paper ‘Love me Tinder: Untangling emerging adults’ motivations for using the dating application Tinder’.
Their exploratory factor analysis revealed six main motivations for using the dating app: “Love, Casual Sex, Ease of Communication, Self-Worth Validation, Thrill of Excitement, and Trendiness.”
The study sampled 163 Dutch 18-30 year olds, over half of whom had used, or were currently using, the app Tinder.
They found that Tinder users were looking for love more often than they were looking for casual sex – a finding that contradicts previous studies and stands at odds with public perception.
Men were more likely to have casual sex as a motivation for swiping, however, and this corroborated the findings of other online dating research.
Men were also more likely to cite the ease of communication and the ‘thrill factor’ as reasons for being active on the app.
The study found a meaningful connection between the individual users’ motivations for being on the app, and the behaviours they exhibited towards their matches. Notably, a motivation for casual sex was uniquely related to its event.
The authors conclude that the study is “the first to demonstrate that Tinder should not be seen as merely a fun, hookup app without any strings attached, but as a multifunctional tool that satisfies various needs among emerging adults.”