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New study indicates that potential partners experience a large penalty for being Black on dating apps

People's initial decision to choose or reject a potential partner on a dating app is based primarily on their attractiveness and race, according to a new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality. The findings suggest that people of color face barriers to dating on mobile apps such as Tinder.

“Dating on mobile apps has turned traditional dating on its head. A lot of the current research we have on how people meet romantic partners comes from relatively controlled settings - meeting through friends, at work, out in public, or online,” said lead author William J. Chopik, an associate professor and director of the Close Relationships Lab at Michigan State University.

“However, mobile dating apps are completely different. It often involves selecting the eligible range of people we could potentially talk to. In some ways, garota americana vs garota europГ©ia many of the same things that guide partner selection in other contexts hold true in mobile dating apps. However, there are plenty of new things too. We wanted to find out the factors that went into people swiping and choosing who to talk to on a mobile dating app.”

For their study, Chopik and his colleague, David J. Johnson, developed a Tinder-like app that allowed users to “swipe” right or left on potential partners to choose or reject them. In four separate studies, with 2,679 participants in total, the researchers found that male participants tended to swipe right more often than women, indicating that men were less choosy when picking out potential partners. Both male and female participants who perceived themselves to be more attractive tended to swipe left more often.

Chopik and Johnson also found that participants were more likely to swipe right on potential partners from their own racial group. But even after controlling for this effect, the researchers found that potential partners were penalized for being Black, Asian, or Hispanic.

The penalty for Black individuals was particularly large.

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