HPU Poll: NC Residents Say Valentine’s Day is a Rewarding Holiday

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 14, 2019 – A recent High Point University Poll finds that most North Carolina residents view Valentine’s Day as a rewarding holiday. On average, participants rated the holiday a 6.5 on a scale from zero (not at all rewarding) to 10 (extremely rewarding); translating to 59 percent of respondents reporting Valentine’s Day was moderately to extremely rewarding.

Regarding the ‘stress factor’ that sometimes is associated with the holiday, participants reported an average score of 5.1 on a scale from zero (not at all stressful) to 10 (extremely stressful); translating to 30 percent reporting that Valentine’s Day causes no stress at all. These findings held true for individuals who were married, as well as single.

A 2013 HPU Poll asked similar questions to North Carolinians at the same time with strikingly similar results. In 2013, participants rated the day as rewarding as 6.4 on average; translating to 61 percent reporting that Valentine’s Day was moderately to extremely rewarding. Participants in 2013 also reported an average score of 4.0. However, in 2013, a larger percentage (44 percent) reported that Valentine’s Day caused no stress at all.

Despite their enjoyment of the holiday, results also found that a majority of North Carolina residents (62 percent) feel that Valentine’s Day has no influence on the closeness they feel for a romantic partner. This percentage is also close to what the poll found six years ago, when that number was 58 percent.

“It appears that people enjoy the opportunity to celebrate their relationships on Valentine’s Day without viewing the holiday as an added stressor,” says Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, HPU associate professor of psychology. “Research has shown that Valentine’s Day can be stressful as people feel pressure to demonstrate their affection. I’m happy to see that respondents of this poll do not view Valentine’s Day gestures as a barometer of their relationships’ closeness, but rather as another opportunity to enjoy the rewards of their relationship.”

The HPU Poll also finds that 28 percent of all North Carolina residents have used an online dating site or app. That number is up seven points from four years ago when a February 2015 HPU Poll found that 21 percent of all North Carolina residents have tried online dating.

All adults – Valentine’s Day (February 2019)

Generally speaking, do you find that Valentine’s Day increases, decreases, or has no influence on the closeness you feel to a romantic partner?

Increases – 28 percent

Decreases – 3 percent

Has no influence – 62 percent

Don’t know/refused – 8 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4 percent)

All adults – Valentine’s Day Stress (February 2019)

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely, please indicate how stressful the Valentine’s Day holiday is for a romantic relationship.

0 (not at all) – 30 percent

1 – 6 percent

2 – 6 percent

3 – 7 percent

4 – 4 percent

5 – (moderately) 14 percent

6 – 4 percent

7 – 6 percent

8 – 7 percent

9 – 3 percent

10 (extremely) – 5 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 7 percent

*Average rating of stress for participants on a scale from 0-10 was 5.05.

All adults – Valentine’s Day Reward (February 2019)

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely, please indicate how rewarding the Valentine’s Day holiday is for a romantic relationship.

0 (not at all) – 18 percent

1 – 3 percent

2 – 4 percent

3 – 6 percent

4 – 5 percent

5 – (moderately) 15 percent

6 – 7 percent

7 – 10 percent

8 – 10 percent

9 – 4 percent

10 (extremely) – 13 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 6 percent

*Average rating of reward for participants on a scale from 0-10 was 6.46.

All adults – Valentine’s Day Gifts (February 2019)

What types of gifts do you typically give for Valentine’s Day?

Chocolates/Candy – 17 percent

Flowers – 11 percent

Jewelry – 7 percent

Cards – 16 percent

Stuffed Animals – 4 percent

Romantic Dinner – 16 percent

Perfume/Cologne – 2 percent

Others – 15 percent

Don’t Know/Refuse – 11 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4 percent)

All adults – Online Dating (February 2019)

Do you personally know anyone who has used an online dating site or app?

Yes – 49 percent

No – 48 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 3 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4 percent)

All adults – Online Dating Use (February 2019)

Have you ever used an online dating site or app?

Yes – 28 percent

No – 71 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4 percent)

All adults – Online Dating – long term relationship (February 2019)

Do you personally know anyone who has been in a long term relationship with or married someone they met through an online dating site or app?

Yes – 36 percent

No – 60 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 4 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Feb. 4-11, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 873 adults interviewed online (594 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (279 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection.  Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.3 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.3 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. 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/2019/02/63memoB.pdf.

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.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

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

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