Setting the Record Straight on "Wasteful Research"
This series provides researchers in the social and behavioral sciences whose work has been mischaracterized by lawmakers the opportunity to set the record straight about the value and potential of their work-- and confront misconceptions about social science research funded by the federal government.
COSSA: Describe your research project in your own words.
STEPHANIE TONG: Our project examines how people perceive and react to the technology embedded in online dating websites. Online and mobile dating systems are changing the ways in which people form romantic connections, either by giving them access to a large pool of potential partners, or by making recommendations on whom to date. With over 30 million people using online or mobile dating in their search for love, these systems have an immense potential to affect the process of romantic relationship formation. Online and mobile dating platforms are silently altering people’s attention, changing expectations about potential partners, and subtly influencing their decisions about which partners to pursue. If a culture is dependent on its social bonds, then we must know more about how these systems are changing the ways that people are forming those bonds—and whether or not the users of these systems are aware of the effects on their own relational behavior.Read More