The present investigation pursues three objectives: (1) the psychological traits (self-esteem, extraversion, openness, shyness, physical attraction, sociability) as well as socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, education)in comparison to people who have not used online single services before; (2) to determine psychological characteristics which predict the intensity of using Internet dating platforms; (3) to identify different user types according to motives of utilization, differential characteris-tics and their behaviour of utilization.In a random sample of N = 437 Internet dating service users hardly differ from non-users in psychological, but merely in socio-demographic variables.In the light of these findings it can now be assumed that low self-esteem is associated with a more intensive use of dating portal.However, the results of the research group around Kim (2009) point in a different direction. (2009) investigated the influence of self-esteem, sociability and the importance of a romantic relationship on the use of Internet dating services.Findings indicate that users of dating services are sociable, engage in many social activities (Brym & Lenton, 2001) and have a high self confidence (Kim, Kwon & Lee, 2009).Thus, common stereotypes on the one hand and the opposite empirical findings on the other hand, picture two competing hypotheses, which are also represented in the literature: the Social Enhancement (“Rich Get Richer”) theory and the Social Compensation (“Poor Get Richer”) hypothesis (see Valkenburg & Peter, 2007).In the first instance results of a cluster analysis yield that the user's population is heterogeneous.
Since the motives of dating-use in empirical studies is unknown so far the confirmation of these assumptions remains to be done.
The results are discussed in the light of previous findings and their utility is represented for the practice.
Searching for a partner through the Internet has become fashionable.
In the context of Internet use may be evidenced that people having a lower self-esteem prefer text-based communication over face-to-face communication (Joinson, 2004) and also spend more time on the Internet (Ehrenberg, Itching, White & Walsh, 2008).
The pathological findings on Internet use indicate that low self-esteem turns out to be a risk factor (Armstrong, Phillips & Saling, 2000; Hahn & Jerusalem, 2001; Niemz, Griffiths & Banhard, 2005).
Why different groups of people choose certain media is often explained by the uses-and-gratifications-approach (UGA) by Blumler and Katz (1974).