Research

From Academia: Dating App Use Among the ‘Psychosocially Distraught’

2019 research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships explored the issue of dating app addiction as relates to different psychological traits.

The study was titled ‘Swiping for trouble: Problematic dating application use among psychosocially distraught individuals and the paths to negative outcomes.’ 

It surveyed 269 undergraduate college students to find out whether anxious or lonely people were more prone to using services like Tinder compulsively.

Researchers found that participants who were higher in social anxiety preferred using dating apps to meeting people in real life, as face-to-face flirting can make them feel uncomfortable.

They were not significantly more likely to develop problematic usage rates, however.

Loneliness was also found to have a very weak association, with the exception of those participants who were lonely yet highly comfortable with online interaction. For those individuals, problematic dating app use was more common.

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New analysis of the study in Psychology Today reads: “Taken together, this research shows that Tinder has some addictive qualities – but like anything with addictive qualities, some people are more seduced by them than others. 

“And lonely people in particular, if they find it easier to interact via these apps, may be most at risk of abusing them.”

Previous research, published in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions, sought to develop a ‘Problematic Tinder Use Scale’.

Read more here.

Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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