Survey questions online dating
Then we observed the frequency with which people reached out to potential dates — the term used is “messaged.” We also observed the frequency with which they received responses on the basis of shared or not shared political orientations.
We analyzed data from about 143,000 men and nearly 120,000 women. It’s really rich data that wasn’t possible in a large scale in prior research.
From a research perspective, this study is interesting because, while marriages on average are quite alike in a lot of characteristics, we often don’t know why they’re alike.
If two white, evangelical Protestants marry, they may be both Republican, but they may not have started dating because they are Republicans, they may have started dating because they have a shared ethnic and religious orientation.
Our study can account for a restrictive partner market, and still show that politics affects who people choose to ask for dates.
The effects we show are above and beyond those that exist simply due to restrictive partner markets.
That effect is substantial but not overwhelmingly large. That effect is actually quite a bit larger than the political effect, which is still reasonably significant.
Even when you account for a lot of other characteristics on which people choose dating partners, people seem to be more likely to reach out to people who have a shared political orientation.
The second study analyzed data from an existing online dating site. The second study is in some ways the more novel of the two.
We worked with an online dating service, which provided us access to the actual behaviors of the site’s users.
Political scientists and sociologists have sought to understand what drives this homogeneity.
Do people seek partners who have similar political beliefs? Are shared politics a side effect of other factors, such as shared religious beliefs?