‘Tinder’ Linked to Lower Self-Esteem in Men


The dating app “Tinder” is linked to lower self-esteem in men, according to a recent study conducted by the University of North Texas. The research was presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, in August 2016.

According to Well and Good, “Tinder” users experience embarrassment and dissatisfaction because they are required to compare themselves to others, in order “to determine their level of physical attractiveness.” The research shows that the dating app causes users to become self-conscious about their physical appearance. This can lead to “anxiety, depression, and general psychological distress.”

Doctors Jessica Strubel and Trent Petrie from the University of North Texas, conducted the study that is called “Love me Tinder: Body image and Psychological Functioning Among Men and Women.” In the research, over 1,000 persons provided information about their body image and self-esteem. Among them, only 102 reported using the app; 70 women and 32 men. After examining their psychological well-being, the researchers observed that the men were much more distressed than the women after using the app.

According to the study, the app is linked to lower self-esteem in men, even those with higher levels of self-esteem. The current ‘Tinder’ system may cause a diminished sense of self. This issue is common on multiple social media platforms.

The researchers need to complete their work to gain a better perspective of the effects “Tinder” has on individuals. However, their effort is one of the few studies that has tried to show how the dating app impacts people’s psychological functioning.

The Dating App Employed a Sociologist

In order to help users find a match and maintain a high level of self-esteem, the dating app employed a sociologist. According to “Fast Company,” Jessica Carbino is the “Tinder” resident sociologist. Her job is to understand what users want and how they behave. Carbino uses methodological techniques to understand the users and how to create a better experience.

As a result of her work, Carbino found many characteristics of the “Tinder” users. For example, she saw that 72 percent of the men and women who use the dating app, “present themselves wearing very muted colors rather than a bold color.” Also, the sociologist observed that most of the users do not smile in their photos, which would make them look kinder and more approachable. Moreover, Carbino discovered that 80 percent of the users are seeking a relationship, not just a hookup.

According to an interview with “Fast Company,” Carbino validated the results of the study conducted by the University of North Texas. She declared that women have a pre-conditioned view of overly attractive men and it prevents them from responding. Men, however, respond to more attractive women. “Women associate attractiveness with negative characteristics like arrogance and narcissism.” So, it appears that the sociologist agreed with the fact that “Tinder” is linked to lower self-esteem in men.

Released in September 2012, “Tinder” is an app developed by IAC. It is a location-based dating application which helps users that are mutually interested in each other to communicate. Nowadays, “Tinder” is used all over the world and is available in over 30 languages.

By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith & Cathy Milne


Complex: Men Who Use Tinder Have Lower Self-Esteem, Study Shows
Fast Company: How To Get A Match, According to Tinder’s Sociologist
Go Tinder: Blog – Behind the scenes
Well and Good: Why Tinder could be messing with your confidence

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of CAFNR’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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