One-way mirrors and weak-signaling in online dating: A randomized field experiment

Ravi Bapna, Jui Ramaprasad, Galit Shmueli, Akhmed Umyarov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The growing popularity of online dating sites is altering one of the most fundamental human activities of finding a date or a marriage partner. Online dating platforms offer new capabilities, such as intensive search, big-data based mate recommendations and varying levels of anonymity, whose parallels do not exist in the physical world. In this study we examine the impact of anonymity feature on matching outcomes. Based on a large scale randomized experiment in partnership with one of the largest online dating companies, we demonstrate causally that anonymity indeed lets users browse more freely, but at the same time impacts the existing social dating norms (what we call a weak signaling mechanism) and thus produces negative impact on matches. Our results show that this weak signaling is especially helpful for women, helping them overcome social frictions coming from established social norms that discourage them from making the first move in dating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2013)
Subtitle of host publicationReshaping Society Through Information Systems Design
Pages2748-2762
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
EventInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013 - Milan, Italy
Duration: Dec 15 2013Dec 18 2013

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2013): Reshaping Society Through Information Systems Design
Volume3

Other

OtherInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013
CountryItaly
CityMilan
Period12/15/1312/18/13

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Online dating
  • Privacy
  • Randomized experiment

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