Science

Tinder Use Can Get You Hooked, Study Says

By Donna Bellevue , Feb 13, 2017 02:52 AM EST
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In today's mobile world, Tinder use is deemed as the easiest way to find love and romance. According to an analytics website, Tinder is one of the most popular tools to pursue modern romance and has been ranked as the most downloaded lifestyle app in America for nearly two years. But instead of its effectivity as the driving force behind its popularity, psychologists say that it is most likely due to its addictive design ---- swiping to find a match ---- which could easily get anyone hooked.

Tinder’s strategy to find romance is straightforward and effective. Matches are made using just a few criteria such as looks, availability, and location. Because attractiveness can be usually gauged after just a short glance, Tinder users can often go through a dozen profiles in a short period of time.

It is Tinder’s rapid pace that appeals to the simplest of our cognitive shortcuts. If you like someone, swipe right, and if you don't, swipe left. It's so easy and fast.

In terms of psychological conditioning, Tinder use makes people look for reward which encourages rapid swiping. It is very similar to the mechanism in drugs that make people get hooked. Since users don’t know which swipe will bring the “reward” of a match, Tinder uses a reward ratio schedule, similar to the reward system used in slot machines, video games, and even in animal experiments, the Salon reports.

Tinder has potential matches randomly dispersed so you get the itch to swipe as many as you can to find as many matches as possible. This phenomenon is clearly explained in a previous study on the brains of drug addicts. Researchers found that the expectation of the drug caused more release of the pleasure-feeling neurotransmitter dopamine than the actual drug itself, the KARE 11 reports.

So for those who may be expecting the next swipe on Tinder to lead to the perfect match or reward, serial swiping begins to develop, and it is hard to get over with. Not surprisingly, in 2015 Tinder began imposing a limitation on the amount of daily swipes to around 100 for non-premium users. Tinder use can become so addictive that for those who have tried to deactivate their accounts, they can undergo symptoms of Tinder withdrawal.

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