A Rejection Mindset: Selection Overload in Internet Dating

A Rejection Mindset: Selection Overload in Internet Dating

Article Information

Tila M. Pronk is Assistant Professor at Tilburg University. Her work centers around intimate relationships. As an example, she studies (online) dating and forgiveness, as well once the effect of specific distinctions like self-control on relationships.

Jaap J. A. Denissen is Professor at Tilburg University. Their work centers around fischkopf login the software between character therapy, social psychology, and developmental therapy. Broadly, he studies deals between people 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 relationship is the fact that online platforms offer more possibilities to locate a romantic partner than in the past, but folks are nonetheless prone to be solitary. We hypothesized the presence of a rejection mind-set: The access that is continued practically limitless prospective lovers makes people more pessimistic and rejecting. Across three studies, individuals instantly started initially to reject more hypothetical and real lovers whenever dating online, cumulating an average of in a decrease of 27% in opportunity on acceptance through the very very first into the partner option that is last. This is explained by a broad decrease in satisfaction with images and identified dating success. For females, the rejection mindset additionally led to a decreasing likelihood of experiencing intimate matches. Our findings claim that individuals slowly “close down” from mating possibilities whenever internet dating.

The landscape that is dating changed drastically in the last ten years, with increased and more folks trying to find a partner online (Hobbs, Owen, & Gerber, 2017). Individuals have never ever had the oppertunity to pick partners among this kind of pool that is enormous of. As one 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 on a daily basis (Smith, 2018). The opposite has occurred: The rise of online dating coincided with an increase in the amount of singles in society (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, 2019; Copen, Daniels, Vespa, & Mosher, 2012; DePaulo, 2017) while one may expect this drastic increase in mating opportunities to result in an increasing number of romantic relationships. Exactly just What could explain this paradox in modern relationship?

The abundance of preference in online dating sites is amongst the factors that are key describes its success (Lenton & Stewart, 2008). Individuals like having many choices to choose from, while the possibility of finding an alternative that matches someone’s preference that is individual logically increase with additional option (Lancaster, 1990; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). Nevertheless, having choice that is extensive have different negative effects, such as for example paralysis (for example., perhaps 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 when they will have more option. This observation is similar to the essential financial principle of diminishing returns (Brue, 1993; Shephard & Fare, 1974), by which each device that is sequentially included with the production process leads to less earnings.

There was some indirect proof that having more choice within the domain of dating also offers negative effects. As an example, when expected to select the partner that is best, usage of more partner profiles led to more re re re searching, more hours allocated to assessing bad option choices, and a lesser possibility of choosing the choice with all the most useful individual fit (Wu & Chiou, 2009). Likewise, whenever an option set increases, people wind up being less content with their partner that is ultimate choice prone to reverse their decision (D’Angelo & Toma, 2017). The undesireable effects of choice overload may also be mentioned in articles in popular media mentioning phenomena such as “Tinder exhaustion” (Beck, 2016) or burnout that is“dating (Blair, 2017).

To shed more light in the paradoxical outcomes of contemporary relationship, we learned what the results are once individuals enter a online dating sites environment. Our design that is innovative allowed to see just exactly exactly how people’s partner alternatives unfold when anyone are offered partner options sequentially—as in opposition to simultaneously (D’Angelo & Toma, 2017; Wu & Chiou, 2009). Our primary expectation had been that online dating sites will set down a rejection mind-set, leading individuals to be increasingly prone to reject lovers to your degree they have been presented with an increase of choices. Next, we explored the concern of timing: exactly exactly How quickly will the rejection mindset kick in? We would not have a priori theory about what a perfect choice set could be but rather explored a possible “break point” into the propensity to reject. 3rd, we tested which emotional procedures may account fully for modification in mating decisions.

The Present Analysis

We tested the presence of the rejection mindset in online dating sites across three studies. In learn 1, we provided people who have pictures of hypothetical lovers, to check if when people’s general option behavior would alter. In research 2, we delivered individuals with images of lovers which were really available and tested the development that is gradual of option actions also their rate of success when it comes to shared interest (i.e., fits). In learn 3, we explored prospective underlying mechanisms that are psychological. Especially, as well as in line with option overload literary works, we explored perhaps the rejection mindset might be because of individuals experiencing reduced option satisfaction much less success over the course of internet dating. Being a goal that is additional we explored the possibility moderating part of sex. In every studies, we dedicated to individuals between 18 and three decades group that is old—a accocunts for 79% of most users of internet dating applications (Smith, 2018).

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