A team of researchers has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to explore how the rise in online dating is affecting the relational landscape across the United States.
Researchers from the Wayne State University in America have secured a sum of $851,462 to conduct its research into how modern online dating technology is impacting the way Americans develop romantic connections.
The project, named “The impact of online technologies on interpersonal communication and perceptions”, will be funded for three and a half years.
The team is being led by Stephanie Tong PhD, an assistant professor of communication studies in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State.
Speaking about the aims of the research, Tong said: “Online dating is one of the most popular ways for single Americans to meet a romantic partner.
“We’re interested in looking at how updated online dating technology affects the ways people initiate relationships and the ways they make decisions; when they decide who to date, and whether or not to pursue the relationship.”
The project also aims to provide a greater understanding into the way people perceive the “mathematical workings” used by online dating systems to create pairings, and the impact that these have on its users.
Tong added: “What we are really interested in is people’s attitudes and opinions of the algorithms of these systems, and how they affect the decisions they make, and how these decisions are going to change the relational landscape over time.”
The team also includes Richard Slatcher PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Wayne State, and Jeffrey Hancock, PhD, who is a professor of communication at Stanford University.
In the US, one in five adults between the ages of 25 to 34 have used online dating services.
Find out more about the research here.