Results provided significant correlations between personality traits and online dating gratifications

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Results provided significant correlations between personality traits and online dating gratifications

There appears to be agreement concerning the relationship between some personality traits and the motives for online dating use (Sumter and Vandenbosch 2019). In a survey of 678 participants (584 undergraduate students and 94 individuals from the general population from online networking websites; 86% aged between 18 and 20 years), Clemens et al. (2015) took personality measures using the Big-Five Scale (Benet-Martinez and John 1998) and online dating gratifications (i.e. identity, social, companionship, distraction, intercourse, status, and relationship) with blended items from three different validated scales: the General Internet Use Scale (Charney and Greenberg 2002), Television Viewing Motives Scale (Rubin 1981) and Social Networking Scale (Guessennd et al. 2008). For example, neuroticism was significantly related to identity gratification, which means that individuals high in neuroticism pursue the creation of their own identity by being free to choose what to show to others. Openness to experience was found to be associated with being social when using online dating sites. Disagreeable individuals were found to use online dating sites to be social and to search for companions. Conversely, those who scored low in disagreeableness were found to use online dating sites with peer pressure (i.e. status). Furthermore, conscientiousness was correlated with finding a romantic relationship. Additionally, homosexuals were found to score higher on neuroticism, together with heterosexual women.

It has already been noted that neurotic individuals aim to form their own identity via online dating sites (Clemens et al. 2015). Forming one’s own identity on online sites, in this case online dating websites, can lead to misrepresentation (Hall et al. 2010). In a survey of 5020 American online daters (74% females; mean age = 39.8 years), Hall et al. (2010) found that self-monitoring, defined as the quality of adapting one’s presentation in order to obtain a desired outcome (Back and Snyder 1988), was a predictor of misrepresentation in online dating. In terms of personality traits, the authors reported that participants low in openness to experience were more likely to misrepresent themselves on online dating sites in order to appear more appealing. Neurotic individuals, who have been claimed to pursue control over their online representation, were not found to misrepresent themselves (Hall et al. 2010).

Significant associations were found between homosexual participants and gratifications of relationship and sex

Regarding attachment styles, Chin et al. (2019) surveyed 183 single American participants, and 60% of those were male (mean age = years). A multivariate regression analysis was performed utilising data from the Attachment Style Questionnaire (Simpson et al. 1992), together with some items covering the use of dating apps. Results showed differences in use depending on the type of attachment and reported those with anxious attachment patterns tended to use online dating more than avoidant types.

Also, the authors included sex and sexual orientation in the model in order to relate them to personality traits and dating gratifications

The results in this section indicate that there is a relationship between the use of dating apps and personality characteristics, such as low conscientiousness, high sensation-seeking, and sexual permissiveness. The relationship suggests that individuals high in sensation-seeking and sexual permissiveness use dating app services for casual sexual encounters. Further research should study the relationship between sensation-seeking and sexual permissiveness with the use of dating apps. Also, there appears to be an association between neuroticism and higher online dating use. However, only two studies have reported a clear positive correlation (Chin et al. 2019; Hance et al. 2018). Regarding the limitations of the studies, all of them were cross-sectional; therefore, no causality or directionality of the findings can be inferred. In terms of samples, there are some limitations regarding generalisability considering that many of the studies used convenience and/or non-randomised samples.

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