What makes someone swipe left or right?

Janelle Ward, Assistant Professor ESHCC, researches dating apps.


For the past few years I've been engaged in research on the use of dating apps, in particular impression management on Tinder. Tinder's founder Sean Rad once said the best technology simulates real life, and that's what Tinder does: allows us to approve or disapprove others with our first impression.

Too many options 

Both as a researcher and a dating app user, I'm fascinated by what motivates people, how they present themselves and what makes them swipe one way or another.

Dating apps like Tinder are very easy to use. Create a profile, upload a few pictures, swipe right on the profiles you like and left on the profiles you don't. The possibilities seem endless but if we find ourselves with too many options this can be problematic.

That special someone

I recently interviewed Tinder users in the Netherlands and published the results of this research in November 2016 in the journal Information, Communication & Society. Despite all the swiping, my research found that many people just want to meet that special someone.

More information

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