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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3866

Title: Happily Ever After? How do Online Daters Define and Discuss Success?
Authors: Mascaro, Christopher
Magee, Rachel
Keywords: Online dating
Issue Date: 8-Apr-2011
Publisher: Drexel University. College of Information Science and Technology.
Series/Report no.: IST Research Day 2011 posters
Abstract: Online dating has been the focus of numerous studies. Prior research focuses on the characteristics of individuals who use online dating sites (Stephure et al., 2009; Sautter et al., 2010), how individuals represent themselves on different services (Hancock & Toma 2009; Ellison et al., 2009), and the search strategies individuals utilize to find a partner (Fiore et al.,2010; Hitsch et al., 2006). To date, there have been no studies that examine success stories associated with online dating websites. The following study attempts to address this gap by examining publicly available success stories collected through a systematic random sample from online dating success sites affiliated with Match.com (n=544), eHarmony (n=213) and OkCupid (n=61). Our analysis highlights two interesting findings. First, definitions of success differ between online dating websites. eHarmony’s success stories are mostly comprised of married couples (84%), whereas the number of married couples on Match.com (46.7%) and OkCupid (23%)is significantly lower. Additionally, the number of eHarmony and Match.com success profiles increases from Dating through Engaged to Married, whereas OkCupid’s frequency decreases from Dating through Married. Second, both eHarmony and Match.com success stories were found to have a higher frequency of phrases related to more serious aspects of relationships, such as “the rest of my life” and “marry him.” OkCupid success profiles were found to have a higher frequency of phrases dealing with the situational aspects of dating such as “we decided to meet” and “to get to know.” These findings demonstrate that individuals that utilize different dating sites have different definitions of success. The motivation for these different definitions between online dating websites is unknown. The results from this study help to inform future research of the cultural dimensions associated with each site that may lead to the different definitions of success.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3866
Appears in Collections:Research Day Posters (IST)

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