Preference Versus Choice in Online Dating (7/7)

A lyric from the popular Stephen Sondheim musical entitled Into the Woods incorporates the lyric, “when you know what you want then you go and you find it and you get it.” But does that lyric/logic apply to online dating? Examining the decision-making aspects of this digital pursuit, the authors of this study, Stephen Whyte, MBR, and Benno Torgler, PhD, state that “dating participants’ actions may be somewhat contrary to their original stated preference” and that “[e]xploring the progression employed between what humans say they want and what they actually choose is of critical importance for behavioral science” (Whyte & Torgler, 2017, p. 151). Focusing on the Australian dating website RSVP, this study explores multiple characteristics revealed in dating profiles, dating participants’ identified preferences of these characteristics for their ideal matches and whether those stated preferences align with participants’ actual choices.

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