In Brief

Tinder users more likely to have lower self-esteem, says study

Texas researchers warn dating app makes people feel 'depersonalised and disposable'

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Tinder users have lower self-esteem than non-users, according to a study by psychologists.

Researchers at the University of North Texas asked 1,044 women and 273 men about their use of the dating app. They were also asked questions about their body image, perceived objectification and psychological wellbeing.

The findings showed that Tinder users are less satisfied with their bodies and appearance, the BBC reports.

Dr Jessica Strubel, who co-led the research, said the popular app, which involves "swiping" right or left on photo-based profiles to select or reject possible dates, leaves users feeling "depersonalised and disposable".

Regular use of the "surreal" app is "associated with body dissatisfaction, body shame, body monitoring, internalisation of societal expectations of beauty [and] comparing oneself physically to others", she added.

Co-author Trent Petrie said this affects both genders. "The negative effects that women have been experiencing pretty consistently for 40, 50 years, men might be now experiencing," he said.

Psychologist Helga Dittmar, of the University of Sussex, said: "We already have heavily rising mental health problems related to body image and appearance, and appeal to the opposite sex. It's a downward spiral."

However, The Guardian says some experts have warned that the sample size of the study is tiny compared to the recent estimate of 50 million Tinder users. The researcher also does not address whether people with negative self-perceptions are disproportionately drawn to the app, or if use of the app itself drives down their self-esteem.

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