The last decade has seen both an increase in the diffusion of online dating and an uptick in the number of inter-ethnic marriages. Could users’ participation on online dating contribute to the formation of more heterogeneous couples ? The awarded IDG project, led by Guilia Ranzini (Communication Science VU), aims to explore whether the use of online dating, and especially mobile dating apps, has the power of promoting curiosity, rather than hostility, towards peers who are different, because of ethnicity, religion or political views.
The Tech Labs will support the IDG project by creating a believable mock-app. In an experimental setting, participants will be asked to access the app and choose potential partners in the same way they would on a real platform. As a result, it will be possible not just to register the choices of respondents, but also track their behavior, which will provide some information about the impact of this type of technology on the dating practices of individuals.