How do we like our online dates—customized or personalized? The differential effects of user vs. system tailoring on date preferences

Eugene Cho, S. Shyam Sundar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online dating apps offer two different options for filtering potential partners. One option is to allow users to directly specify their partner preferences (i.e., customization). Another is to allow the system to suggest potential dates based on their profile (i.e., personalization). This study examined if this difference in user vs. system tailoring will influence user perception regarding the quality of dates suggested by the app as well as the quality of the app service itself. Findings from a between-subjects experiment (N = 184) show that while personalization was higher than absence of tailoring, and customization was higher than personalization, the combination of the two led participants to perceive the highest proportion of date-worthy partners, significantly higher than the control condition (even though the gallery of potential dates was identical in all conditions). In addition, a significant moderation effect of power usage emerged, in that non-power users preferred the absence of tailoring over personalization, customization and the combination of the two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107037
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Customization
  • Information tailoring
  • Online dating
  • Personalization
  • Power usage

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