Tinder: The Game of Finding Love | The Science of Love

Tinder: The Game of Finding Love | The Science of Love


Julian: Cute smile. Crazy hair, alright I
dig it. Bunny ears is going to be a no. You want to let me know when we’re rolling?
[off camera]: We’re rolling! Julian: Oh, sorry I didn’t realize, I wasn’t
on Tinder or anything. Okay you got me, I lied, I was on Tinder. Oh what’s Tinder? Well,
it’s this relatively new dating app that’s altering the way millions of people date. And each
week it’s user base balloons by fifteen percent, faster than any dating app in history! So
why is it so addictive? Well it’s the game of love with the pressure taken out. It increases
your odds of meeting someone while lowering the stakes if you fail. See, by reframing
romance into quite literally a game, you fundamentally changed how we engage in it. Let me explain,
80% of the time people spend playing video games, they are failing at it. So why do you
still go on playing for hours on end? Simple, because you know you have a shot at winning.
It’s called “urgent optimism”, which Jane McGonigal defines as extreme self-motivation.
The desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle combined with the belief that we
have a reasonable hope of success. That is the exact opposite of how we tend to approach
our love lives! So, does turning dating into a game really make us more optimistic about
it. To find out, we set up an experiment. We gathered a selection of subjects who claimed
to be pessimistic about their love life. P1: I’m mingling, but not like aggressively
mingling. Julian: We gave them a test that measured
their optimism about dating. P2: I’m always optimistic about my future
love life, no. Julian: Then we had them download the app,
set up a profile, and use it for 15 minutes. P2: This guy is at a party with two babes
and a gold chain and he’s 19 years old. I’m going to say no right now!
P1: He just has pictures with celebrities. It’s like “I’m not that cool but look at the
cool people I hang out with.” P3: This one has a very muscly back it’s just
pure back. P1: This guy looks too serious and he’s at
the Grammys. He’s too hipster. P4: Why would she have the definition of rice
in her profile, it’s not very attractive. P1: This guy is holding a banana.
P3: Aw, puppy! P2: Dogs, okay, I can work with this.
P1: This guy is holding a dog! How sweet! P2: If you have to take off your shirt and
take a picture, automatic douche! P3: It was cute!
P2: This guy is holding an American flag, like 98 degrees, on top of a mountain. I’m
going to give him a heart right now. P3: There’s some girls in here! Melanie, alright!
“Hey Melanie I wonder if we’ll be a match!” P5: Oh it’s a match!
P4: I like her! P3: Liked!
P2: Wow these guys are in plaid tuxedos holding blue shady party cups and they say they’re
23 but they look 33. I’m going to say yes because they look like a fun time!
P5: When you get a match it says send a message or keep playing. So it’s a game? Can I win?
P3: I’m just so into it, I don’t know which way I’m swiping these people.
P1: This guy looks fun! P5: I got another match! It’s just a bunch
of matches, but she looks like my mom and I kind of wish I didn’t swipe right. I’m going
to tell her she looks like my mom. Julian: When time ran out, we pushed the game
even further by incorporating a goal to work towards. Find a total of ten people they would
go on a date with! Julian: Can I grab a seat here?
P3: You want to play with me? P1: Come on down!
Julian: Okay, we have a little bit of a challenge for you, I think you’re going to do okay because
we wanted to see if you could find ten people on here that you would actually legitimately
consider dating. P5: Okay!
P1: Sure! This guy definitely not. Julian: We’re not going to start with shirtless
guy. P3: So Elmer hearts his body. Alright let’s
have a look. P4: She likes Doug I mean you can’t go wrong
with that. I think she’s a like. Julian: Alright we got one!
P3: Is looking for a needle in the gaystack, nope!
Julian: Alright okay, two! P3: Jason get’s a like! Hey I got a match!
P2: I got to see more pictures of this guy. Julian: What enticed you to click on the photo
on the profile. P2: He’s rubbing his nipples.
P1: We have a lot of things in common, he likes Jurassic Park, I like Jurassic Park.
Julian: Everybody likes Jurassic Park! P1: I don’t know, his smile is rough, might
have to look at that smile for the rest of my life.
Julian: Okay! That’s a no! Julian: Seven! You’re just making mincemeat
of this challenge! P2: Okay I like him. We’re going to go on
a date! P1: Okay, I’ll like him.
Julian: You have several matches! You have a bunch of messages piling up!
P3: I know it’s embarrassing! P1: This guy looks cute, but that’s a terrible
picture. I can’t. I’m sorry ten might be pushing it!
P2: Okay, six likes! Julian: We’re at 8!
P4: That’s 8, yup! P1: Alright so we’ll like him, we’re doing
good! P3: He doesn’t say anything about himself
and I guess it’s what the conversation is for. I’ll like it!
P4: In Las Vegas, I think that’s the last one!
Julian: Nice! P2: What the hell, he has a beard. I like!
Julian: Ten, wait was that a no or a yes? P5: That’s ten?
Julian: I think you said no to two. Julian: When they were done we retested their
optimism about dating to see if they felt their romantic futures looked any brighter.
Other than the fact that every single person loved puppies, after using tinder for twenty
minutes we saw an average jump in romantic optimism of 12 percent with an increase as
high as 20 percent. When we gave them a goal of finding ten people, we incentivized people
with a reward system to be more openminded about who they give the shot to. By having
more reasonable standards. Decades of extensive positive psychology research shows optimism
is the key to building resilience. Your ability to cope with problems and setbacks, which
when you think about it is a lot of what dating is, makes sense. When there is a zilliion
other people at the flick of a finger, rejection doesn’t stink so much! The real benefit comes
from just playing it for the game it is. A resilience building exercise that makes romance
as winnable as Angry Birds. Because when you tackle the task of finding love knowing you
have a real shot at meeting someone you are really into, then most likely you will! I’m
Julian, and this has been The Science of Love! SoulPancake,
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About the Author: John Markowski

99 Comments

  1. I am next to uninterested in all things dating-app-related but I'll listen to Julian talk about it on Soul Pancake stuff. Whatever it is you are doing with the pacing or the tone or whatever it is, is working. Maybe it is the lab coat and the optimism. UGH. OPTIMISM.

  2. I usually like your content but I am going to be dead critical of this one. I appreciate your conclusions about the psychology of optimism and its role in creating resilience but all this DEEP BULLSHIT about the gamefication of dating… HELL NO!
    1st – everyone knows Tinder is just about hooking up and increasing your chances at casual sex (at least here in London, but I am pretty sure it is the same in SanFran or wherever you are)
    2nd – You didn't consider the real science behind dating/meeting someone special; and that is RESONANCE. When you actually meet someone you immediately experience some form of appreciation or rejection based on the sensory perception their system has on our system (look, touch, smell). Then we go on talking and are able to deepen that resonance by gauging at their mind/heart through their words and the way they speak to us.

    If you reduce all of that by simply liking or disliking them based on a photoshopped pic or two… then your chances at meeting someone you really like decrease instead of increasing. That's because it's just a game of statistics. For guys it's all about liking as many pretty girls as possible… in the end you are bound to be liked by someone. For ladies, it's exactly the same plus trying to gauge guys intentions with some casual conversation.
    What you end up with is just EXHAUSTION and Despondence. All these people to date, not knowing what you really want (and what they want), some casual sex and a lot of frustrated hopes.

    Keep it real mate. Start by meeting people in person (house parties, exhibitions, yoga studios, courses, seminars, trainings). Then make an effort to understand them. That is fundamental to understand yourself as well, for if you don't know/love yourself there is no way you can know and love anyone else

  3. Does Tinder make you more positive and hopeful or more delusional? Just because you get many "matches" doesn't necessarily mean they're real. Tinder is very superficial, so be careful. Have fun, but date smart and be realistic 🙂 

  4. I hate tinder the girl who I am in a complicated relationship with uses it she says she uses it to make new friends and I don't really like it I'm afraid she'll meet someone better than me

  5. I love how some people are certain that this app is for hook ups yet there are bunch of people who are commenting that they met their girlfriend or boyfriend on it. One guy even met his wife on it. My tinder experience was not good. Broken heart. Long story short… if you and I are on it and we are looking for something serious then chances are there are bunch of other people like us. 

  6. Honestly, i dont think this is legit. Some of these people are not attractive enough to get such a plethora of matches.

  7. For everyone who's complaining about not getting matches on Tinder, here's some secrets to success. If you only have one picture, especially if it's kinda blurry, you won't get any matches. If all your pictures are group pictures and nobody can tell which one is you, you won't get any matches. If your pictures are random and not of you, you probably won't get any matches. If your about me is weird or disrespectful in any way or to a specific type of person, even if it doesn't apply to that person they'll probably swipe left because well, no one likes a jerk. Hope this helps someone, Tinder is supposed to be fun so don't go into it looking for a marriage proposal or finding the one. Go into it trying to find blossoming friendships. This article really helped me too so good luck folks
    http://thoughtcatalog.com/rachel-hodin/2014/03/you-must-be-new-here-how-to-tinder-like-a-pro/

  8. dude, you don't have to wear a lab coat when not doing anything but talking. YOu wear a lab coat when there is a real risk of getting disgusting fluids on you that may give you a disease.  Nevermind, just saw the part where you're sitting next to a sodomite homosexual.

  9. I love your videos BUT. Why do you HAVE to include gay people everywhere. It's positive discrimination and don't get me wrong comment-idiots: I respect gays. But feeling the urge to put gays in every video is actually painful at the same level, it's so forced. Let nature go its way and let's hold on to + and -. This generation's sexual orientation is so blurred and it seems like you want to blur it out even more. I respect gay people, I don't respect gay promotion. 

  10. Joined tinder out of curiosity. Ive been on for about a week and not a single match. It's not really increased my optimism that much.

  11. @SoulPancake  i have a suggestion for a experiment. Is love at first sight real? or How do sometimes best friends fall in love? dftba!

  12. love the review, soulpancake – my friend wrote an ebook on how to get girls off tinder at tinderdatingadvice.com

  13. I'm highly disappointed in this information.

    While the evidence might show that tinder can potentially increase romantic optimism you have to incorporate the realism of how attractive your participants are.

    In the real world, average individuals show less attractive features and or try to make themselves look highly attractive. With an ap that is heavily based on how you look compared to who you are, the likeliness of getting a positive result of such a product is drastically low.

    The individuals that part took in this video where all fairly attractive. In a way it seems like the statistics you demonstrated are manipulated, or they simply cannot apply to every tinder user.

    Tinder overall is a very shallow concept based application. With a generation full of young people obsessed with appearance, entertainment, and pleasures the use of tinder generally is based on how attractive you are to sleep with, not a place to genuinely find love.

    I made a profile in the hopes of getting something positive, but only received sexual invites and pointless converstion that usually ended due to someone wanting to sleep with me.

    So is this the science of sex or love? Tinder maybe a fun "love game", but really it's nothing of the sort; it's a shallow place to find sexual gain.

    I'm sure some users actually want love, but if seems most don't.

    The science of love is something I really enjoy watching. However this video doesn't seem to be really accurate.

  14. I heart Julian! This blew my mind… dating as a game. But a game to learn about myself not a game GAME. Thanks Soul Pancake. You are my new favorite.

  15. I know I'm getting to this video late, but I actually met my boyfriend on Tinder about a month after this was posted. I was on the app for months, and I could sit there for hours sometimes wading through the good and the bad. I loved not having to worry about rejection or needing to reject because of the way the matching system works. Granted, towards the end, my optimism had lowered nearly back to where it was when I downloaded the app, but I came across the perfect guy just before I threw in the towel. Funny thing is, he had only been on the app for a few days. We both deleted it after our first date, and I've been a Tinder advocate ever since!

  16. How come these young, beautiful and friendly participants in the video have problems to find somebody? 
    You just need to go out and keep your eyes open. If you can find them on the screen of your phone you can also find them standing in front of you. And you get  a lot more impressions.

  17. …in my case, low optimism is because it seems like every guy I meet only wants sex. I don't think tinder would help improve my attitude towards my dating future 😛

  18. "Heeeyyyy, Melanie. I wonder if we'll be a match."
    Baby, we can be ;]
    Jk. TALK TO PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE! Just my preference.

  19. I didn't believe in online dating because you think everyone's goes on it to hook up, and yes some people do. I went on tinder because I was ill for 3 years and I didn't meet anyone and I decided one night I went on tinder and I meet this guy and we have been on a couple of dates and his my boyfriend now.

    So you never know you meet someone you like. 🙂

  20. Tried Tinder and it did NOT work for me no matter how much I used it and No matter what I tried.

    I am simply cursed.

  21. I don't really understand this apps this tinder, but I love this exercise and I love their results and all. Well, in a few words that is… (:

  22. Actually the internet tricks you into not realizing that there are 100 million more men on earth than women, so guys stop with the scamming date apps, and talk to a girl in real life

  23. Science my ass. Your sample set consists of stereotypically attractive men and women in their 20s, one of them being a tall preppy black guy thrown in as an anti-racism play. Tinder is simply detrimental to social interaction.

  24. What app are these people using. I used Tinder and after months of no matches I felt like seeing what a bullet tasted like at a couple of hundred miles per second.

  25. Wow… The video is interesting. Dating someone through gaming apps was exciting. Testing yourself how optimistic you are in having relationship.

  26. Try that in China/Japan/Korea…my brown male friends can't get much matches, no matter there are zillions options bcz these girls are only interested in Caucasians (apart from their own race) and sometimes they even specifically say: I'm looking for a German guy.

  27. That can't be right, dating apps have made me more pessimistic. Maybe in the short term, it does make you more optimistic. But after you've used these things for more than a year, you just become even more pessimistic than before.

  28. This kind of apps sure can help you to find a date, some fun and feel more confident… But the real problem isn't to find someone but to stick with your choice. The real danger is deeper. Once you realized which flues your partner has, you start to think how easily you can date a new person, so you start to idealize your relationship.

  29. Going on the comment about playing games. There was a game I got REALLY into called Hollow Knight. And I really enjoyed it, up to a point. I beat the boss, got the credits. But I knew there were more options, more things to find. But from that point on, the game got way more difficult for me to handle and I stopped enjoying it. It's frustrating to fight the same boss over and over again and get nowhere. But this late in the game, I ran out of places to explore and come back to later.

  30. am I the only one who wants to meet someone in real life, and go through all of the confusing heartbending trials of love
    real love

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