HPU Poll: More Than 20 Percent of NC Residents Have Tried Online Dating

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 20, 2015 – The HPU Poll finds that 21 percent of all North Carolina residents and 32 percent of those who are currently single have tried online dating. Sadie Leder Elder

These questions are part of an ongoing line of research by Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, assistant professor of psychology at High Point University.

Pew Research Center asked a similar question in late 2013 and found that 11 percent of American adults had used an online dating website or mobile dating app.

“The rising number of people turning to online dating to find romantic partners is likely the result of a number of factors,” says Elder. “It is possible that the stigma associated with online dating has diminished and these services have become more familiar. Similarly, increased access to technology over the past few years may help to explain the growing popularity.”

Online dating is a big business, with nearly a $1 billion reported in revenue in the past year. Despite its increased utility, there are both pros and cons to this form of relationship initiation. Although online dating websites, like Match.com and eHarmony.com, have the ability to provide access to more potential partners than traditional dating methods, relationship scientists have found that the availability of so many alternatives can skew people’s perceptions, ultimately making them less likely to commit.

All adults – February 2015

Have you ever tried an online dating website?

Yes – 21 percent

No – 78 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Jan. 31 – Feb. 5, 2015, n = 413 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

Have you ever tried an online dating website? – Single participants only

Yes – 32 percent

No – 66 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 3 percent

(Single adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Jan. 31 – Feb. 5, 2015, n = 139 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 8.3 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 31 – Feb. 5, 2015. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 417 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.8 percentage points for all adult respondents. The margin of sampling error for the sample of adults (n = 413) is approximately 4.8 percentage points.  The data are weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2015/02/35memoB.pdf.

The Pew Research Center Report, “Online Dating and Relationships” is available at http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/10/21/online-dating-relationships/.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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