A Rejection Mindset: Selection Overload in Internet Dating

Article Information

Tila M. Pronk is Assistant Professor at Tilburg University. Her work is targeted on intimate relationships. For instance, she studies (online) dating and forgiveness, as well whilst the effect of specific distinctions like self-control on relationships.

Jaap J. A. Denissen is Professor at Tilburg University. Their work centers on the screen between character psychology, social psychology, and psychology that is developmental. Broadly, he studies deals between individuals and their environment.

Managing Editor: Vivian Zyas

Tila M. Pronk, Tilburg University, Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 225, 5037 DB Tilburg, holland. E-mail: email protected


The paradox of contemporary dating is the fact that online platforms offer more possibilities to locate a partner that is romantic in the past, but individuals are however almost certainly going to be solitary. We hypothesized the presence of a rejection mindset: The access that is continued practically limitless potential lovers makes individuals more pessimistic and rejecting. Across three studies, individuals straight away began to reject more hypothetical and real lovers whenever dating online, cumulating an average of in a loss of 27% in chance on acceptance through the very very first to your final partner choice. This is explained by a complete decrease in satisfaction with photos and sensed dating success. For females, the rejection mindset additionally lead to a decreasing likelihood of getting intimate matches. Our findings claim that individuals gradually “close off” from mating possibilities whenever dating that is online.

The dating landscape has changed drastically in the last ten years, with additional and more folks searching for a partner online (Hobbs, Owen, & Gerber, 2017). Individuals have never ever had the oppertunity to pick lovers among this kind of pool that is enormous of. For example, the 10 million active day-to-day users associated with the popular internet dating application Tinder are an average of given 140 partner choices each and every day (Smith, 2018). While you can expect this drastic escalation in mating opportunities to effect a result of a growing wide range of intimate relationships, the alternative has taken place: The rise of internet dating coincided with a rise in the total amount of singles in culture (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, 2019; Copen, Daniels, Vespa, & Mosher, 2012; DePaulo, 2017). Just exactly just What could explain this paradox in contemporary relationship?

The abundance of preference in internet dating is amongst the factors that are key describes its success (Lenton & Stewart, 2008). Individuals like having many choices to select from, while the probability of finding a choice that matches someone’s individual preference should logically increase with increased option (Lancaster, 1990; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). Nonetheless, having considerable option can have various undesireable effects, such as for example paralysis (in other terms., perhaps perhaps not making any choice at all) and decreased satisfaction (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000; Scheibehenne, Greifeneder, & Todd, 2010; Schwartz, 2004). In reality, it appears that individuals generally experience less advantages whenever they will have more option. This observation is similar to the fundamental principle that is economic of returns (Brue, 1993; Shephard & Fare, 1974), for which each device that is sequentially included with the production procedure leads to less earnings.

There was some evidence that is indirect having more choice within the domain of dating comes with negative effects. As an example, when expected to choose the partner that is best, usage of more partner pages lead to more re searching, additional time allocated to assessing bad option choices, and a lesser probability of picking the choice because of the best individual fit (Wu & Chiou, https://datingmentor.org/livejasmin-review/ 2009). Likewise, whenever a selection set increases, individuals find yourself being less content with their partner that is ultimate choice prone to reverse their decision (D’Angelo & Toma, 2017). The negative effects of preference overload will also be mentioned in articles in popular media mentioning phenomena such as “Tinder weakness” (Beck, 2016) or “dating burnout” (Blair, 2017).

To shed more light regarding the paradoxical outcomes of contemporary relationship, we studied what the results are once individuals enter a internet dating environment. Our revolutionary design permitted us to observe exactly just how people’s partner alternatives unfold when anyone are given partner options sequentially—as in opposition to simultaneously (D’Angelo & Toma, 2017; Wu & Chiou, 2009). Our primary expectation ended up being that online dating sites will set down a rejection mindset, leading visitors to be increasingly more likely to reject lovers towards the degree they have been presented with additional choices. Next, we explored the relevant concern of timing: exactly just just How quickly will the rejection mindset kick in? We didn’t have any a priori theory about what a perfect choice set will be but alternatively explored a possible “break point” into the propensity to reject. 3rd, we tested which mental procedures may account fully for modification in mating decisions.

The Present Analysis

The existence was tested by us of the rejection mindset in internet dating across three studies. In learn 1, we offered individuals with photos of hypothetical lovers, to try if so when people’s general option behavior would alter. In learn 2, we delivered individuals with photos of lovers that have been really available and tested the gradual growth of their option habits along with their rate of success when it comes to shared interest (for example., fits). In learn 3, we explored possible underlying mechanisms that are psychological. Especially, as well as in line with option overload literary works, we explored whether or not the rejection mindset might be because of people experiencing reduced option satisfaction much less success during the period of online dating sites. Being a additional goal, we explored the prospective moderating part of sex. In most studies, we centered on individuals between 18 and 30 years group that is old—a accocunts for 79% of most users of internet dating applications (Smith, 2018).