New Study by Dating App Hinge Shows Similarities More Important Than “Opposites Attract”

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A new study by dating app Hinge shows that people are more likely to match when they have certain traits in common, rather than the old adage “opposites attract.”

According to the results of the study, people are more likely to match when they share similar backgrounds, particularly religious affiliation, education, and even their initials. The study was conducted by Jon Levy and Moran Cerf of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, and Devin Markell of Hinge. According to an article in Business Insider, they analyzed the outcomes of more than 421 million potential matches on the app to see how similarities in certain traits affected the likelihood of people matching. This included assessing indications of users wanting to communicate outside the dating app.

The study found that when potential matches both attended Ivy League schools, they were 64.3% more likely to match. The same went for “ranked” liberal arts colleges (as listed in U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings) – where two people who attended them were 34.6% more likely to match.

Religion was another striking trait. When someone mentioned a religious affiliation, they were twice as likely to match with others of the same religion. Interestingly, the study also found that users with the same initials were also more likely to match, but the percentage increase was much smaller than traits like religion and education.

The Hinge study examined how many potential matches expressed mutual interest, held a conversation, and exchanged some form of contact like a phone number to engage outside of the app. While the authors used computer-generated search methods to study user activity over in-app messaging, the ability to collect such data, even on an aggregated basis, does bring up privacy concerns for dating app users.

Dating studies like this are important for understanding how people interact and make choices over dating apps, but it’s also important to know how the information is collected, what is used, and whether or not the users know about it. A recent report from Consumer Reports noted that privacy policies for dating apps (many of which are owned by parent company Match Group, including Hinge), are a bit lax, with companies able to share your information and monitor certain activity, like your location and preferences, once you join. Most daters don’t realize how much information they are giving away to any dating app once they sign up and agree to its terms and conditions.

The Hinge study revealed some interesting information, but going forward, it’s important to know what information your dating app company can use and what they might be doing with your data. For more information on this dating service, you can read our Hinge app review.