Perceptions of Infidelity in the Context of Online Dating

Hoare, Jose A. (2020) Perceptions of Infidelity in the Context of Online Dating. Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Dating apps have become increasingly popular as online dating has become more normalized than when it was first introduced in the early 1990s. More relationships are formed online than ever before. However, not everyone uses dating apps for the purpose of dating, and some may even use them to commit infidelity. It is important then to understand perceptions of infidelity in an online context and of how they vary according to gender, culture, peer pressure, and the reasons people use dating apps. A sample of 290 participants (200 women and 83 men) recruited from both Belize and Canada completed an online survey that assessed perceptions of sexual and emotional infidelity across four reasons for using dating apps. Results showed that participants believed it was more unacceptable for a person who was using the dating app to find a relationship or to find an attractive person to show off to engage in sexual and emotional infidelity than a person who was using the dating app for entertainment or sexual purposes. Participants believed it was more unacceptable for men to commit emotional infidelity than women, and Belizean women were more likely to find sexual behaviours as indicative of infidelity than Belizean men. Culture and peer pressure had no apparent effects on perceptions. Findings suggest clear communication as to why a person is using a dating app is important in order to ensure fair perceptions of infidelity versus normal dating app behaviour.

Item Type: Other
Item ID: 15111
Additional Information: “Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-54)”
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Arts and Social Science > Psychology
Date: April 2020
Date Type: Submission

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