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Put yourself on Tinder, and you might end up with a date—or a crippling case of negative thoughts about yourself.So suggests a new study about the psychological effects of the popular dating app, presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.In the study, researchers asked a group of 1,300 mostly college kids to rate how they generally felt about themselves through questionnaires and self-reports.
They were also more likely to think of themselves as sexual objects, to internalize societal ideals about beauty, to compare their appearances to others and to constantly monitor how they looked, the researchers found. “If they used Tinder, they reported more negative scores on all of our measures,” says Trent Petrie, co-author of the paper and professor in the psychology department at the University of North Texas.
“We thought that was pretty interesting, given the fact that gender usually plays a role in how women and men respond to these types of questionnaires.” Women, it turns out, usually feel the worst about themselves.
But the most fascinating result of all was that men—not women—who used Tinder had the lowest levels of self-esteem.
That may simply be because so many more men than women use Tinder, the researchers speculate.
Past research has shown that women are more discerning with their swipes than men, who swipe right more liberally.
But saying yes so often with the flick of a finger comes with a risk: the much higher chance of being rejected.
“The men, in essence, are put in a position that women often find themselves in, certainly in the dating scene: They’re now being evaluated and are being determined whether or not somebody is interested in them [based on their looks],” says Petrie. And that can take a toll, perhaps, on those young men.” In future studies, the researchers plan to look at how the reasons people use Tinder—whether they’re there just to see who matches with them, to hook up or to find a partner—relates to their psychological wellbeing.
Research by other groups indicates that most people on Tinder are there primarily for entertainment, not for finding sex partners or a date (let alone true love), which may help explain the findings.
The study can’t determine whether Tinder people felt worse about their bodies, whether people with low self-esteem just tend to use it more, or some other reason.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating