You decide for yourself if Tinder is ruining relationships … In an analysis of data from a nationally representative survey of more than 4,000 U. adults, Rosenfeld concludes that the Internet is beginning to displace old-school meeting places, like schools and churches, as a place for romantic introductions.

“If one believes that the health of society depends on the strength of the local traditional institutions of family, church, primary school, and neighborhood,” he writes, “then one might be reasonably concerned about the partial displacement of those traditional institutions by the Internet.” But aside from that, the news is all good: Rosenfeld found no differences in relationship quality or strength between couples who met online and couples who met off.

There are, it turns out: Bellou concludes that “Internet expansion is associated with increased marriage rates” among 20-somethings, and hypothesizes that the relationship is causal — in other words, that greater access to online dating, online social networks and other means of communicating with strangers directly causes people to pair up.

As Brad Plumer observed at the time, of course, this doesn’t definitively prove a casual relationship; it’s still very possible that the two things just tend to go hand-in-hand, and don’t contribute to each other.

This study also found that the narrative self-descriptive sections of the profiles played a key role in attractiveness, but the fixed choice sections of the profiles (where users have to pick from a specific set of descriptors, i.e., “Have children now,” “Want children someday,” “Don’t want children,” smoker/non-smoker, etc.) only minimally affected attractiveness ratings.

However, these fixed choice descriptors allow users to triage by easily weeding out those who don’t meet their dealbreaker criteria for a partner (Fiore et al., 2008).

Psychological scientists have been studying attraction, love, and romantic relationships for decades, but online matching and speed dating have given researchers unprecedented opportunity to explore who’s attracted to whom and why.

Take Your Pick For millions of years, humans have been selecting mates using the wealth of information gleaned in face-to-face interactions — not just appearance, but characteristics such as tone of voice, body language, and scent, as well as immediate feedback to their own communications. Or are words the key to someone’s heart (or at least their inbox)?Does mate selection differ when those looking are presented with an almost overwhelming number of potential partners, but limited to a few photos, statistics, and an introductory paragraph about each one? In one survey of Australian online daters, 85% said they would not contact someone without a posted photo, so physical appearance is indeed important (Fiore et al., 2008).A 2008 study in which participants rated actual online profiles confirmed this, but also explored the criteria that made certain photos attractive (Fiore et al., 2008).In fact, contemporary undergraduates have slightly less sex, and slightly fewer partners, than students dating before the rise of online dating and the so-called “hook-up culture.” While that might seem counterintuitive, it actually echoes other research in this space: the sociologist Kathleen Bogle has traced the “death” of traditional dating back to the 1970s, long before Tinder’s founders were even born.When she surveyed college students way back in 2004, most said they had never gone on a date before.Per his research, married couples who met online were happier (5.64 points on a satisfaction survey, versus 5.48) and less likely to get divorced (6 percent, versus 7.6).