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As one columnist who used the service put it, “There’s a short bio, age, and mutual friends listed, but who’s really paying attention to that stuff when your Tinder flame is wearing next to nothing on the beach?
”Then there’s Hinge, which uses a similar interface, but is backed by recommendations from the user’s “social graph,” such as their school or career field.
Edward Royzman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asks me to list four qualities on a piece of paper: physical attractiveness, income, kindness, and fidelity.
Then he gives me 200 virtual “date points” that I’m to distribute among the four traits.
Hockey players with wider faces, considered a sign of aggression, spend more time in the penalty box.
It takes longer, more meaningful interactions, however, to pinpoint other traits, like if the prospective mate is open, agreeable, or neurotic.
Tinder dispenses with the idea that it takes a mutual love of pho or Fleet Foxes to create a spark; instead, users of the phone app swipe through the photos of potential mates and message the ones they like.
This trait game, along with Royzman’s review of the literature on attraction, hints at some of the endless quirks of the online dating marketplace.
You might like someone online, but they put 100 on income, and unfortunately you’re about a 10.
This more superficial breed of dating sites is capitalizing on a clear trend.
Only 36 percent of adults say marriage is one of the most important things in life, according to a 2010 Pew study, and only 28 percent say there is one true love for every person (men are more likely to say so than women).
Grindr serves up a mosaic of gay bachelors’ head and body shots.