A Rejection Mindset: Solution 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 while the effect of specific distinctions like self-control on relationships.

Jaap J. A. Denissen is Professor at Tilburg University. Their work is targeted on the software between character therapy, social therapy, 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 relationship is the fact that online platforms offer more possibilities to look for a partner that is romantic in the past, but folks are however very likely to be solitary. We hypothesized the presence of a rejection mindset: The access that is continued practically unlimited prospective lovers makes individuals 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 27per cent in possibility on acceptance through the very very first to your partner option that is last. It was explained by a complete decrease in satisfaction with photos and observed dating success. For females, the rejection mindset additionally resulted in a likelihood that is decreasing of romantic matches. Our findings claim that individuals slowly “close down” from mating possibilities whenever online dating sites.

The dating landscape has changed drastically in the last ten years, with increased and more individuals shopping for a partner online (Hobbs, Owen, & Gerber, 2017). Men and women have never ever had the oppertunity to choose lovers among this kind of pool that is enormous of. As one example, the 10 million active day-to-day users associated with popular internet dating application Tinder are an average of given 140 partner options 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 What could explain this paradox in contemporary relationship?

The abundance of preference in internet dating is just one of the key factors which explains its success (Lenton & Stewart, 2008). Individuals like having many choices to select 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). But, having choice that is extensive have different negative effects, such as for instance paralysis (in other words., perhaps perhaps not making any choice after 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 usually have more option. This observation is similar to the essential financial principle of diminishing returns (Brue, 1993; Shephard & Fare, 1974), by which each device this is certainly sequentially put into the production procedure leads to less earnings.

There was some indirect proof that having more option into the domain of dating even offers negative effects. For instance, when expected to select the most suitable partner, usage of more partner profiles led to more re re re searching, additional time used on assessing bad option choices, and less probability of choosing the choice utilizing the most readily useful individual fit (Wu & Chiou, 2009). Likewise, when an option set increases, people wind up being less content with their partner that is ultimate choice prone to reverse their choice (D’Angelo & Toma, 2017). The negative effects of preference 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 aftereffects of modern relationship, we learned what goes on once individuals enter a internet dating environment. Our revolutionary design permitted us to see or watch exactly how people’s partner alternatives unfold when individuals are given partner options sequentially—as in opposition to simultaneously (D’Angelo & Toma, 2017; Wu & Chiou, 2009). Our main expectation had been that online dating sites will set a rejection mind-set off, leading visitors to be increasingly very likely to reject lovers towards the level they have been served with additional choices. Secondly, we explored the relevant concern of timing: exactly exactly How quickly will the rejection mindset kick in? We didn’t have a priori theory on which a perfect choice set will be but rather explored a prospective “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 a rejection mind-set in online dating sites across three studies. In research 1, we delivered people who have photos of hypothetical lovers, to try if so when people’s choice that is general would alter. In Study 2, we provided individuals with images of lovers which were really available and tested the gradual growth of their option habits along with their rate of success with regards to shared interest (i.e., fits). In Study 3, we explored potential underlying emotional mechanisms. Particularly, plus in line with option overload literary works, we explored perhaps the rejection mindset can be as a result of individuals experiencing reduced option satisfaction much less success during the period of online dating sites. As a extra objective, we explored the possibility moderating part of sex. In most studies, we dedicated to individuals between 18 and three decades old—a team that accocunts for 79% of all of the users of online dating sites applications (Smith, 2018).

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