We already discovered several reasons why people use Tinder. This time, we are challenged with another question: what exactly drives people to use Tinder? Do singles that use Tinder differ from singles who never used such an application regarding their personality traits? And do personality traits also influence Tinder motives?
To find out, we examined 502 single emerging adults between the ages 18 and 29. The majority of them (378) used Tinder, wheres 124 respondents never used the application. Everyone answered questions about their personality. To do this, we used a validated scale which measures the Big Five personality traits: agreaableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience.
According to our data, single Tinder users are more extraverted and more open to experience compared to non-users. Contrarily, non-users score higher on conscientiousness compared to Tinder users. We did not find significant differences for agreeableness and neuroticism.
We also tested whether personality is associated with the 13 Tinder Motives. The results showed that single Tinder users with higher scores on extraversion are more likely to use Tinder for entertainment purposes or when wanting to pass time. Single introverts, on the other hand, are more likely to use Tinder in their quest for true love or to increase their flirting skills. Interestingly, those with higher scores on agreeableness will be less likely to use Tinder for casual sex.
Conscientiousness individuals are described as being goal-oriented. Single Tinder users with higher scores on conscientiousness are thus more likely to use Tinder to find a romantic partner. Contrarily, they will be less likely to use it as a tool for distraction or entertainment. Regarding neuroticism, single Tinder users with a higher score on neuroticism tend to use the app more when trying to get over their ex-partners and to increase their ego.
Finally, single Tinder users with a higher score on openness to experience are more likely to use the application when travelling compared to their counterparts with lower scores on this personality trait.
Personality thus seems to play an important role when wanting to fully understand Tinder use. But how come these differences between single users and single non-users are quite small? It could be possible that mobile dating application have become part of day-to-day single life for emerging adults. When wanting to make a comparison between users and non-users, we discovered that the majority of non-users was in a committed relationship, that being a major factor for not using the application. While several single had used the application at least once, out for instance, curiosity, it was harder to find people that never used the app.
You can find the academic paper here.