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The secret to finding a perfect Tinder match? It's love at second swipe

Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

The second person you like the look of on dating sites such as Tinder might just be the right one.

Australian psychology research has found people using sites and apps such as Tinder are more likely to rate a face as attractive if they thought the preceding face was also attractive.

Researchers from the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology conducted experiments with sixteen women, all of them undergraduates, and found they were strongly biased by the face seen immediately before.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, used 60 male profiles from the Hot or Not dating app and gave the women a rating choice of either attractive or not attractive.

“Love or lust at first sight is a cliché that has been around for years,” says Jessica Taubert, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research associate.

“Our research gives weight to a new theory: that people are more likely to find love at second swipe.”

PhD candidate Huihui Zhang running the experiment on herself. Image: Jessica Taubert, University of Sydney

Dr Taubert says giving participants a simple choice reflects the system used by online dating sites.

“With each participant, we presented a profile picture on a screen for 300 milliseconds which was then replaced with a white fixation cross which remained visible until the participant rated the picture as attractive or unattractive,” she says.

“Online dating sites and apps inspired the framing of the task. To reflect the system used by popular apps such as Tinder, participants were given a binary option rather than a rating on a spectrum.”

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